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China creates 3.03m new jobs in Q1, over 25% of year’s target

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New college graduates attend a job fair in Chengdu city, Southwest China’s Sichuan Province, on July 2, 2023. A total of 11,547 positions were offered by 405 employers at the fair, which attracted 11,170 job seekers, and more than 2,630 employment intentions were initially reached. Photo: VCG

China created 3.03 million new jobs in the first quarter of 2024, signaling a good start for the country’s employment market. The number means that China has already accomplished more than 25 percent of the annual employment goal of 12 million jobs, data released by the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources showed on Tuesday.

The urban unemployment rate in the first quarter was 5.2 percent, a decline of 0.3 percentage points year-on-year, Chen Feng, spokesperson of the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources, said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

Chen vowed that China will double down on its efforts to maintain the stability of the job market while creating more jobs. For example, the ministry will improve support mechanisms for key groups, and roll out more policies to promote the employment of college graduates.  

Observers said that the job policies need to be more targeted, considering that China’s employment situation shows “structural contradictions” and that a record high number of college graduates will enter the workforce in the second half of this year. 

It is anticipated that China could see 11.79 million college graduates in 2024, a rise of 210,000 compared with 2023.

For example, policies could focus on skills training, especially for recent college graduates, who form the largest job-seeking group, Li Chang’an, a professor at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies of the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

He said that universities should strengthen collaboration with enterprises, to allow more college students to participate in companies’ research and development process, so they could more seamlessly adapt to the job market. 

Analysts voiced confidence that the country’s strong economic recovery momentum, along with the creation of more new quality productive forces, will continue injecting new impetus into the job market. 

According to a report that Chinese jobs website sent to the Global Times, Shanghai, Shenzhen in South China’s Guangdong Province, and Southwest China’s Chongqing offered the largest number of new jobs in the new-energy industry in the first quarter. 

Other job positions in explosive demand include artificial intelligence (AI) technicians, amid a boom in AI applications, and tourism-related talent, as China’s tourism market has been embarking on a robust recovery streak.

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