China records 200 million flexible workers

(People's Daily Online) 13:35, February 11, 2022

A video blogger films at the Genting Snow Park, Chongli District, Zhangjiakou, north China's Hebei Province. (Xinhua/Wu Zhuang)

The diverse new labor forms developed by the booming platform economy and sharing economy are offering new choices for young people in China. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China had recorded 200 million flexible workers by the end of 2021, nearly three times more than there had been in 2020.

Flexible employment offering more choices for job seekers

University graduates, known for their innovative ways of thinking, make up the majority of China's flexible workers. Over 16 percent of graduating college students in the past two years opted for flexible jobs, said the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center.

"Doing flexible jobs doesn't necessarily mean that we can't find a job or that we are not being serious about employment," said Liu Zhen, who graduated from university five years ago and now runs a channel about special effects, or SFX, on a video platform.

Liu believes that flexible employment offers job seekers an opportunity to start their own businesses and helps them make a difference with their specialties. It builds a platform for people to showcase their capabilities and helps them pave a road for their future careers, she said.

Flexible employment is not only to the benefit of university graduates, but also facilitates enterprises in terms of recruitment. According to a report issued by the Renmin University of China, flexible employment was adopted by 61.14 percent of enterprises in China last year, up 5.46 percent from a year ago. The report also found that enterprises were planning to expand flexible employment.

Creating abundant opportunities for multifaceted talents

"People still know too little about volcanoes. Though we understand why they erupt, we can barely predict when. This is why we must continue our research," says video blogger Li Dongqi in a clip he uploaded after a series of violent volcanic eruptions broke out in Tonga on Jan. 4. The clip was viewed over 20,000 times.

"Short video blogging is just a side gig, and I'm a geological researcher," Li said. At first, he was just filming to share his frequent field investigations on the internet, but later he unexpectedly obtained a batch of loyal followers, and considerable extra income, too.

"So I started making science popularization videos, and I also publish relevant articles on knowledge sharing platforms. These contents offer the audience, especially students, a source where they can learn about geology," he told People's Daily Overseas Edition.

In the era of intelligentization, flexible income is building new channels for multifaceted talents like Li to work on side projects and make extra income.

Currently, more and more people are becoming multifaceted and are qualified to work for different types of enterprises. To promote flexible employment on social, knowledge sharing, as well as video and audio platforms is encouraged by a recent development plan on digital economy issued by the State Council. 

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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