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Looking for work becoming a career in itself

By Wang Wen  (China Daily)

09:41, June 20, 2013

Job seekers look around at a job fair at Nanchang University in Jiangxi province on May 23. (Photo/

New graduates forced to adjust dreams to tough realities of nation's weak employment market

Xie Dong, who will graduate from Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology this month, had to give up his career ambitions and accept a job his aunt arranged for him.

"I did not get any reply after sending over 20 resumes to the enterprises I am interested in," said the 24-year-old. "I did not even have the opportunity to show myself to the enterprises."

With his family's help, Xie will go to work in a small State-owned company as soon as he graduates at the end of June.

Not every fresh graduate is as lucky as Xie. Most of them have struggled amid what is being called the most difficult year for fresh graduates' employment ever.

By April 10, only 35 percent of this year's graduates had signed job contracts with their future employers, which was 12 percentage points lower than the previous year, according to a survey from MyCOS HR Digital Information Co Ltd, a consulting company dealing with higher education.

The employment rate of postgraduates was even lower, at 26 percent, the report said.

Many companies have cut their recruitment plans for fresh graduates, amid slowing economic growth.

"Our company cut more than 30 percent of graduate recruitment," said a human resource manager from a State-owned bank.

The increasing number of college graduates is a primary reason for the most difficult employment year. There will be 6.99 million fresh college graduates in 2013, the most since 1949, according to the Ministry of Education.

"It is the worst year ever," said Gao Hua, an assistant professor from the finance school of a key university in Beijing.

Only two graduates in his postgraduate class of 32 students had received job offers as of the middle of June, one month away from graduation, said Gao. In the past, most of his students got jobs before they graduated.

Graduates' employment pressure will continue, since the number of fresh graduates will remain at about 7 million annually in the next five years, said Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimin, the Beijing Times reported on Tuesday.

Economic growth is the way to resolve the employment problem, Yin said, and China's service industry has great potential, as the industry contributes only 36 percent of employment, which is much lower than the developing countries' average level.

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