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Graduates' expected salaries drop 1,000 yuan to new low

(Global Times)

10:40, June 05, 2013

A new study shows that university graduates entering the workforce this year expect to earn a meager 3,683 yuan ($600) per month, a figure down by 1,000 yuan from last year.

Conducted by Beijing Youth Stress Management Service Center, the study that was released May 29 and surveyed some 16,000 college graduates found that expected salaries have been dropping for the last two years. This year's new low marks a nearly 2,000-yuan drop from a high of 5,537 yuan in 2011, according to Beijing News.

"The only possible interpretation is that 2013 graduates are aligning their expectations with the reality of the severe lack of job opportunities," said an unnamed researcher from the center, which has been doing the research for five years.

According to the study, the stress of getting a job for graduates has also increased significantly from last year, the report said, adding that the stress levels measured had started decreasing in 2009, but this year's levels tops those for both 2010 and 2011.

Experts cited by the newspaper said that the study confirmed that this year is indeed "the hardest job-seeking time," which has been a hot topic online since the spring.

The study also indicates that this year's graduates prefer to work in second-tier cities, such as provincial capitals, instead of Beijing and Shanghai, to avoid high home prices and intense competition.

The center's director Xiong Hanzhong told Beijing News that students are also more likely to register for entrance exams to graduate schools to avoid the pressures of seeking work in the current job market.

Huang Yanfei was one such graduate school candidate. But she was forced to job hunt in late January, because she failed the entrance examination. Unable to land a job in her field, the computer science major even sent her resume to a store selling sea cucumbers.

She finally managed to sign a contract with an IT company, which pays her 2,500 yuan a month, 500 yuan less than her expected monthly salary.

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