China created 13 million new jobs in 2016

China’s economy slowed to 6.7% as concerns remain over a huge incoming workforce and a supply-demand mismatch for skilled workers


China produces more than seven million graduates every year who flood the job market. Photo: AFP
China produces more than seven million graduates every year who flood the job market. Photo: AFP

Beijing: China created more than 13 million new jobs last year despite the world’s second-largest economy slowing down to 6.7% but concerns remained over a huge incoming workforce and a supply-demand mismatch for skilled workers.

Data from ministry of human resources and social security (MHRSS) showed 13.14 million new jobs for urban residents were created in 2016 exceeding the whole-year target of 10 million. And registered unemployment rate in Chinese cities stood at 4.02%, down from 4.04% three months earlier.

The figure was well below the government’s target of 4.5% set in the beginning of last year.

“China’s employment generally held steady,” MHRSS spokesperson Lu Aihong told reporters. The government rolled out an array of pro-employment policies for college graduates, laid-off workers from glutted industries, and migrant workers, while the country’s entrepreneurial wave has also helped job creation, Lu said.

“The fundamentals for stable employment have not changed,” Lu said, citing favourable factors such as steady growth, advanced reform measures, urbanisation, and strengthening innovation capacity.

But, he admitted, a huge incoming workforce and supply- demand gap for skilled and laid-off workers will put pressure on the employment market.

China produces more than seven million graduates every year who flood the job market. Its economy expanded 6.7% in 2016, down from 6.9% in 2015, marking the weakest growth in 26 years and that has added to the concerns over employment generation.

To face the challenges, China will strive to ensure re-employment of workers made redundant during the country’s excess capacity cuts, help college graduates seek jobs, improve professional skill training, and support people to set up their own businesses, Lu said. PTI

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