Employment presents a great
The Chinese government regards increasing employment opportunities as a major strategic task in economic and social development, and controlling the rate of unemployment as a main target in macro-economic regulation and control. It has rationally readjusted the employment structure, established a market-oriented employment mechanism, put great efforts into increasing overall employment and maintained basic stability in the general employment situation. By the end of 2001, the country's population had reached 1.27627 billion (excluding the populations of the
Implementing the Policy of
Vigorously Increasing Employment
Focusing on economic construction, the Chinese government promotes employment through economic growth, carries out an active policy of employment, and adopts various effective measures to increase the rate of employment.
Rationally readjusting the employment structure. In line with the readjustment of the industrial structure, the government guides the development of industries and enterprises capable of offering more job opportunities. While increasing capital construction investment, vigorously expanding the domestic demand and maintaining the high-speed development of the national economy, the government stresses the development of labor-intensive enterprises with comparative advantages and market potential, especially service enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises capable of offering employment to a large number of people, through readjustment of its industrial policies. It also increases employment and expands employment channels by vigorously developing the economy with diverse forms of ownership, such as collective, private and individual ownership, and by encouraging various forms of employment.
Establishing a market-oriented employment mechanism. Carrying out the employment policy of "laborers finding employment on their own initiative, the market adjusting the demand for employment and the government promoting employment," the Chinese government encourages securing employment through fair competition, encourages employers to decide the number and quality of their own employees, and adopts measures to promote the shaping of a market-oriented employment mechanism. In the meantime, the labor market information network has started to display its worth, promoting exchanges of information concerning labor supply and demand, and helping the jobless find employment or reemployment through the labor market. In order to set up a labor market with a sound mechanism, standardized operation and good service, and under effective supervision, the Chinese government has conducted trials to set up a scientific, standardized and modernized labor market in 100 cities. In recent years, the Chinese government has started to trial-implement a pricing mechanism for the labor market, in order to enable the market mechanism to play its basic regulatory role in the allocation of labor resources, wage formation and labor flow.
Enhancing workers' quality. In order to raise the cultural level and professional skill of the work force, the Chinese government has striven to promote all forms of education through various channels, and laid equal stress on academic and vocational qualification credentials. At present, the system of nine-year compulsory education covers 85 percent of the total population, and the illiteracy rate among the young and middle-aged has dropped to 5 percent. There are currently 1,225 regular institutions of higher learning, with 7.19 million students; 686 adult institutions of higher learning, with 4.56 million students; and 80,400 regular middle schools, with 79.19 million students.
Developing the employment service
system. Since the 1980s,
Making overall plans for urban and rural employment.
Enlarging Employment Scale, Optimizing Employment Structure
Through the common efforts of the
government and all sectors of society, total employment in
The employment structure, too, has changed dramatically. In 2000, employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary industries accounted for 50 percent, 22.5 percent and 27.5 percent, respectively. In recent years, the employment percentage of the primary industry has dropped markedly, while the employment percentages of the secondary and tertiary industries have risen rapidly. Particularly, the growth rate of the employment percentage of the tertiary industry has been higher than that of the secondary industry. The employees of state and collective enterprises and institutions accounted for 37.3 percent of the total urban employees in 2001, down from 99.8 percent in 1978. Meanwhile, the number of employees of private, individually owned
and foreign-invested enterprises has increased drastically. In the countryside, the household is still the dominant unit of agricultural employment. However, with the implementation of the urbanization strategy and the development of non-agricultural industries, non-agricultural employment and the transfer of rural labor have increased rapidly. By the end of 2000, the number of employees of township enterprises had reached 128.195 million, of which 38.328 million were employed by township collective enterprises, 32.525 million by township private enterprises and 57.342 million by individually owned township enterprises. Since the 1990s, the labor force transferred from rural to urban areas has topped the 80-million mark.
Promoting Reemployment of the Laid-off and Unemployed
With the speeding up of the
economic restructuring, the long-accumulated contradictions in the operating mechanism of
enterprises have become increasingly apparent, and large numbers of redundant employees in
enterprises have been laid off. Most of the laid-offs from state-owned enterprises are
relatively older, poorly educated and skilled in few jobs. Therefore, it is rather
difficult for them to find reemployment. To settle the problem of the laid-off and
unemployed personnel, the Chinese government, while guaranteeing their basic livelihood,
has formulated a whole slue of policies, complete with a variety of measures, to ease the
way for their reemployment. Adopting active employment service measures. Reemployment
service centers have been established in all those state-owned enterprises that have
laid-off workers and staff members. After they have registered with the centers,
governmental public employment service organs will provide them once with occupational
guidance, thrice with employment information and once with free job training, all on a
six-month basis. Beginning in 1998, the government started to implement the first phase of
the "ten million in three years" reemployment training program, which was aimed
at training ten million laid-off jobless persons in the course of three years. By
mobilizing all the training forces in society, employing the beneficiaries of training and
other effective measures, the government has convinced laid-off and unemployed persons to
participate in reemployment training. From 1998 to 2000, more than 13 million laid-off and
unemployed persons nationwide had taken part in retraining, and the reemployment rate
after six months of training had reached 60 percent. The government began to carry out the
second phase of the reemployment training program in 2001.
Moreover, a total of 30 cities so far have carried out a "starting a business" training program, offering training to laid-off and unemployed persons who wish to establish small businesses, helping them register with the industrial and commercial administration authorities and acquire small loans after the completion of training, thereby to increase their reemployment opportunities through the establishment of small businesses.
Improving and implementing
preferential reemployment policies. By simplifying the procedures of registration with
industrial and commercial administration authorities, arranging business premises,
reducing or waiving taxes and fees, and granting loans, the government helps laid-off and
unemployed people set up economic entities or labor organizations to support themselves,
seek reemployment or otherwise to find their own means of livelihood. Taking employment in
community services as the main orientation of the reemployment efforts, the government has
spared no pains to develop those small enterprises and employment service enterprises that
can provide more employment opportunities.
Unfolding the "Reemployment Assistance Action." To appropriately resolve the practical difficulties laid-off employees face after they leave reemployment service centers, the government has organized a "Reemployment Assistance Action" drive to extend prompt and effective service to guarantee their basic livelihood, reemployment and social insurance through various assistance measures. From 1998 to 2001, over 25.5 million people were laid off from state enterprises, of whom over 16.8 million have been reemployed.
Guaranteeing Women's Right to Employment
Special concern has been given to
the employment of women in
Helping the Disabled and Other Special Groups to Find Work
The Chinese government attaches
great importance to the rights of the disabled to social labor and employment.
In addition, the government has established an employment service system for badly-off jobless urban residents, and for older laid-off and unemployed persons. It seeks to arrange jobs for destitute persons by providing funds to support community welfare-type employment organizations, developing community environmental protection, hygiene, security and other services, and providing free employment services. All these measures have achieved the desired effects.