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China ups support to firms to ensure employment amid COVID-19 epidemic

Updated: Mar 25,2020 05:11 PM    Xinhua

BEIJING — China has pledged to lend more support to companies with multi-faceted measures in a renewed commitment to protecting jobs for its workforce amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, an official said on March 25.

The country cut 123.9 billion yuan (about $17.7 billion) in social security premiums for companies nationwide in February, with the sum from February through June expected to top 500 billion yuan, You Jun, vice-minister of human resources and social security, told a news conference.

To help encourage companies to minimize layoffs, 1.46 million micro, small and medium-sized enterprises have received 22.2 billion yuan in refunds of unemployment insurance premiums, which aimed at encouraging companies to minimize layoffs, with the number of benefitted companies exceeding that of last year as a whole.

The State Council, China's cabinet, issued a guideline last week calling for fast-tracking targeted tax and fee reductions and increasing the amount and coverage of unemployment insurance premium refunds.

The guideline also urged wider recruitment from state-owned enterprises and public institutions, as well as more incentives for smaller companies to hire college graduates.

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