'Red-collar' jobs most sought after in China

13:56, September 03, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

For nearly 20 years, white-collar jobs have been the most prized in China since the 1990s. However, times change and now more people are hoping to trade their white collars for red ones.

So-called "red-collar" workers refer to civil servants in China. China has about 50 million civil servants now, and more people are planning to enter this class through public entrance examinations. Because of its stable income, security and the promise of promotions, more and more people are aspiring to be civil servants, reported by Chinanews.com.cn.

Back in the early years of reform and opening up, large numbers of foreign-funded corporations came into view and employees at these companies carried with them a certain kind of glamour in the eyes of the nation because of their elegant attire, high incomes and great quality of life. The public called them "white-collar workers," a word that came from the West.

In those years, "white-collar" and "blue-collar" workers were seen in stark contrast in terms of income and prestige, although both terms were introduced from the West. However, the distance between the two categories has been continually closing, and sometimes the blue-collar workers are even much better off than the white-collar ones after so many years have past.

Now, to mention a white-collar worker conjures an image of dressing well on a crowded bus or subway and struggling to hardly afford a house. The term "white collar" has lost its appeal and become an embarrassing existence.

With China's entry into the WTO and the rapid development of China's economy, "gold-collar" work became another dream for the public. High income, extravagant tastes, rich managerial expertise and experiences are all reasons these positions are envied. But at the same time, those "gold-collar" workers also paid what normal people couldn't pay to attain these.

The sudden onset of the financial crisis meant all that was gold failed to glitter and the gold in the collar started to fade. Gold-collar workers' incomes were up and down following the fluctuations of the stock market, and they also have to bear high work pressure and threats to their health.

Under these circumstances, the red-collar job with its stable income and little pressure has become the people's new favorite.

Wu Zhenggao, the financial director of a training institution for the civil servant examination, said the word of "red" was quite fitting for China's "red political power." He said also hopes that "red collar" could be given more of a definition, such as meeting civil servants' mission consciously and promoting better service by the government to the public as red-collar jobs are gaining nationwide popularity.

By Wang Hanlu, People's Daily Online


  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Players of Iran throw up their coach Velasco Julio during the awarding ceremony at the 16th Asian Men's Volleyball Championship in Tehran, capital of Iran, Sept. 29, 2011. Iran won the champion after beating China 3-1 in the final on Thursday. (Xinhua/Ahmad Halabisaz)
  • Greek artists burn copies of emergency tax notices during a protest against austerity measures in Athens, Greece, on Sept. 29, 2011. The Greek government is facing a new wave of protests as it introduces new austerity measures to obtain the sixth tranche of aids necessary to overcome the acute debt crisis.(Xinhua/Marios Lolos)
  • A winner of the 36th Miss Bikini International 2011 poses for a photo at the Olympic Sailing Center in Qingdao, a coastal city of east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 29, 2011. (Xinhua/Chen Jianli)
  • Staff members are in position at Beijing Aerospace Control Center in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 29, 2011. Commander-in-chief of China's manned space program Chang Wanquan announced Thursday night that the launch of Tiangong-1 space lab module was successful. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)
  • Champion of Miss Bikini from Poland receives trophy at the final of the 36th Miss Bikini International World Competition in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua Photo)
  • Photo taken on Sept. 28, 2011 shows autumn scenery of populus euphratica forests in Ejina Banner, north China's Inner Mongolia. The populus euphratica forests here, with an area of 390,000 mu, or 26,000 hectares, is one of the world's most famous populus euphratica forests. The golden leaves and sunshines here in autumn is able to attract more than 100,000 person-times annually. (Xinhua/Zhao Tingting)
Hot Forum Discussion