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Fewer jobs open amid economic slowdown in city

By Dong Zhen (Shanghai Daily)

08:07, August 30, 2012

SHANGHAI'S economic slowdown has adversely affected the growth of the local job market in the first seven months of the year, and the effect may last the rest of the year given current economic trends, city labor bureau officials said yesterday.

Despite efforts to boost jobs, the net growth in the number of newly recruited workers from January through July citywide still dropped substantially from the same period a year earlier, according to the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau. Officials provided no details on the gap but said it's an obvious setback.

The bureau said during the first seven months, the city provided a total of 452,900 new jobs to workers. But taking into account positions that closed for various reasons, the net growth in new recruits during the period was only 80,000 persons, a major drop from a year earlier, according to the bureau.

"The overall employment situation in Shanghai is still quite stable. But some figures such as the drop in net growth in new recruits indicated the labor market received an obvious influence from the slowdown in economic development," Ying Hongqing, deputy bureau director, said yesterday.

The labor bureau estimated the city would face a slack job market for the rest of this year amid this economic climate.

"And the city is also advancing its pace in economic restructuring and that also counts as a strike against the local employment rate," Ying added.

Shanghai is endeavoring to phase out or relocate polluting and high-energy-consuming factories, including steel producers, from the city. Labor authority officials think that will cause more workers at such businesses to be laid off, creating extra pressure on the labor market.

To help boost job openings and support the labor market, the city had granted loans with lower-than-market interest rates totaling 32 million yuan (US$5.04 million) in the first half of this year for small private start-up companies. The government also provided rental subsidies of 21.8 million yuan to support the start-ups.

By end of July, there were 241,200 registered unemployed residents in Shanghai, 3,800 persons fewer than a year earlier. The labor authority said up to 91 percent of the city's latest college graduates leaving campus this June had so far landed a job, launched their own firms or applied for higher education, with the remaining 9 percent still looking for work. The rate has slightly improved from last year, the bureau said.

The labor bureau said it would provide more incentives and support to upgrade local vocational training programs and schools to help more unemployed youths increase their professional skills.

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