Authorities lay emphasis on tackling high youth unemployment

By Xu Wei (China Daily) 11:05, May 25, 2023

The Chinese authorities have rolled out steps to stabilize the job market, pledging to offer stronger policy support for businesses that create a large number of jobs.

In a policy document issued last month, the General Office of the State Council laid out a series of measures to expand employment, encourage entrepreneurship and boost vocational training.

Other key steps include encouraging State-owned enterprises to scale up recruitment and stabilizing the payrolls of government departments and public institutions. An action plan will be put in place to create 1 million internship opportunities for young people, an initiative that will also provide employers with subsidies for the purpose of paying interns a basic allowance.

Experts said that tackling youth unemployment should continue to be a policy priority, and the government needs to come up with more pro-business measures to stabilize economic growth.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's surveyed unemployment rate among all workers in urban areas stood at 5.2 percent in April. However, the jobless rate for those age 16 to 24 stood at 20.4 percent, highlighting the need for stronger policy support to spur youth employment.

China is set to see a record 11.58 million students graduate this year, which will put even more pressure on the job market.

Wang Ting, a professor of human resources at the China University of Political Science and Law, said that offering young people more jobs and better employment services should be given equal attention by authorities looking to resolve the unemployment problem.

He underscored the need for higher-education institutions to adjust their majors in line with demand from the job market to make it easier for graduates to find work.

Wang also highlighted that more internship opportunities will help the young and jobless improve their skills and better adapt to the job market.

He added that it is also important that vocational schools offer more training opportunities tailored to the needs of employers, especially in the green and digital sectors.

Meng Wei, a spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission, told a news briefing on May 17 that maintaining a proper rate of economic growth remains the fundamental solution to stabilizing the job market.

She said that the government will adopt measures to encourage private businesses to take part in sectors such as infrastructure construction, telecommunications and energy, and to push domestic companies in the foreign trade sector to explore global markets.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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