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China to boost employment with multi-pronged measures

Zhang Yue
Updated: Oct 09,2020 22:22

China will adopt new pro-employment measures and enhance its support for key groups of job-seekers to meet this year’s job creation targets, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Oct 9.

The Chinese government places employment high on its agenda, putting it first in the six priorities where stability is key and the six areas where protections are needed.

General Secretary Xi Jinping has stressed the need to roll out more measures to support businesses, ease corporate burdens, keep payrolls stable, and create more jobs, particularly for key groups, to realize full and high-quality employment.

Premier Li Keqiang has underlined that employment is crucial to keeping economic fundamentals stable. It is important to implement the employment-first strategy and expand channels for employment.

“The employment situation remains stable overall. Yet we should not let down our guard against potential risks. From January to August, 7.81 million urban jobs have been created. We are well-positioned to achieve the target of creating 9 million new urban jobs for the entire year,” Premier Li said at the meeting. “That said, we must recognize the challenges in employment prospects. The unemployment rate among certain groups of populations and regions remains high. Those employed have seen their income shrink.”

The meeting on Oct 9 emphasized that creating sufficient jobs is essential for securing overall economic performance. Since the start of this year, local governments and related departments have put job creation on top of their work agenda and implemented strong measures to support employment. The surveyed urban unemployment rate has dropped steadily from its February peak.

Greater efforts are needed to support market entities and create jobs. The policies to help troubled companies and support employment and business start-ups must be implemented. Measures to relieve business burdens, secure jobs and expand employment need to be fine-tuned to better benefit micro, small and medium-sized businesses and industries that are particularly hard-hit and recovering at a slower pace.

“In the first half of this year, we focused on helping businesses keep their payrolls stable. Starting from now, our focus will be shifted to adding new jobs. We must not reduce the intensity of fiscal and financial support policies or the policies in improving the business climate,” Premier Li said. “We must place great importance on the employment of college graduates this year. We need to expand employment channels for key groups of people, to further tap the potential of employment.”

Support for key groups of job-seekers needs to be prioritized. College graduates will receive support for employment and business start-ups, and skills training will be provided to help them better prepare for jobs. Market resources will be leveraged to create more job opportunities. Employment services will also be provided to college graduates who have yet to find jobs to support their transition from campus to career. Employment services and support for entrepreneurial activities will be stepped up for rural migrant workers. Employment aid will be intensified for job-seekers in difficult situations.

“While we work to ensure we meet the employment targets and tasks for this year, we must pay special attention to supporting businesses in difficult situations. Helping market players survive is of great importance in keeping employment stable,” Premier Li said. “We also need to take focused steps to increase the number of new market players and create more jobs.”

Employment potential will be further unlocked. Vocational up-skilling will continue to be promoted. Authorities are required to meet their due responsibilities to encourage flexible employment and create more jobs via multiple means.

“As consumption serves as the primary driving force for growth, and consumer demand is more diversified, the space for flexible employment has increased accordingly,” Premier Li stressed. “Competent departments need to introduce support policies for flexible employment.”