President Hu Jintao has vowed to introduce more proactive employment policies and to make the issue a priority in economic development, amid the rising demand for job openings.
In noting that the populous country is facing increasing pressure from the job market as its army of a workforce grows, Hu said the aim would be to make existing job candidates more qualified while also increasing the number of positions available.
Hu was speaking at a study session of the Politburo on Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. He said the problem of having too many candidates, but few qualified ones, 'will last for a long period'.
And when laying out social and economic development strategies, the government should focus whether the efforts really helped promote job growth, he said.
Better job-creation services should be provided to college graduates, migrant workers, retired soldiers, women, and ethnic minority groups and the disabled, he added.
Earlier this month, the State Council released its first five-year-plan on job promotion, vowing to keep the registered unemployment rate in urban areas under 5 per cent between 2011 and 2015.
Under the plan, 45 million new jobs should be created, and 40 million farmers are expected to have jobs in urban areas by 2015.
The plan also aims to raise the minimum wage across the country by at least 13 per cent a year over the same period.
Professor He Wenjiong, deputy director of the Research Centre of Labour Economics and Public Policy at Zhejiang University, criticised labour officials yesterday, saying they failed to play an active role in creating jobs in recent years. 'The number of newly added job hunters has remained at a high level, and there are also a large number of people waiting to change jobs,' he said.
Apart from creating more jobs, he said the government should work harder to improve social security so more stable employment was possible for grass-root workers. 'That many workers keep changing jobs is, to a large extent, caused by poor social welfare benefits,' he said.
To make matters worse, more college graduates, the pillar of the workforce, are becoming more picky, though many lack knowledge and practical skills. 'Because college education and the needs from the job market are mismatched, many graduates are unfit for a higher posts, but unwilling to take a lower one.'
Around 6.8 million college graduates are expectd this year. Official statistics indicated it remained above 6 million for in the past couple of years.
The number of college graduates expected to hit the job market this year