China jobs: ‘arduous’ task to stabilise employment and boost economy, Premier Li Keqiang says
- Premier Li Keqiang urged action to curb rising joblessness to aid the struggling economy with China’s headline urban unemployment rate 5.9 per cent last month
- A new report also showed that the employment pressure on young migrant workers and university graduates in China is now more pronounced
Stabilising employment in China has become an “arduous” task, according to Premier Li Keqiang, who urged action to curb rising joblessness to aid the struggling economy.
“The economy has made progress in recovery, but the fundamentals for recovery are not yet sufficiently solid and the tasks to stabilise employment remain arduous,” said Li, state media reported on Tuesday.
Li made the comments on Monday while hosting a seminar to discuss how to solve the employment problems and promote economic development having earlier visited both the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.
Li said that market-based job opportunities and social employment channels should be expanded to increase jobs and achieve sustainable development.
The promotion of employment for university graduates and the scale of jobs for unemployed migrant workers should also be expanded, Li added.
However, a new report on Wednesday showed that the employment pressure on young migrant workers and university graduates is now more pronounced.
The report from China International Capital Corporation (CICC) showed that relying solely on boosting traditional infrastructure would also have a limited effect on promoting youth employment.
A survey released as part of the report showed that a key reason for the rise in youth employment pressure is that jobs favoured by younger people are concentrated in sectors that have been directly affected by the coronavirus.
The record number of university graduates also places extra pressure on other young jobseekers with lower qualifications, the report said.
CICC suggested that the government should introduce more targeted policies to ease the pressure on youth employment, such as promoting the reopening of service industries, such as catering, and increasing public service jobs for health and social work.
Expanding further education and providing subsidies for vocational skills training were also suggested.
During his visit, Li asked the Ministry of Civil Affairs to strengthen monitoring to identify unemployed people and people in temporary financial difficulties as the coronavirus and natural disasters have created added pressures.
With more than 70 per cent of government expenditure spent on livelihoods, governments at all levels should expand the scope of protection and help for people in financial difficulty, Li added.
According to the National Audit Office, 74,800 people in financial hardship did not receive the help they were entitled to last year.
Some regions also provided 138 million yuan (US$20.6 million) in grants to people whose income and asset levels meant they should not have received help, China’s auditing regulator said.