New graduates still prefer to work for state-owned firms

A survey of 48,000 showed more favour such employment with a large increase in the number who want to start their own business

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 July, 2014, 5:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 July, 2014, 7:08pm

The state-owned firms are still mainland university graduates’ first choice for employment, a recent survey shows, with 35.9 per cent of respondents preferring to work for them, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

According to the annual survey of about 48,000 people, conducted by, 18.9 per cent would prefer to start their own business than be employed by someone else, a substantial increase compared with 2.2 per cent who said so last year.

Analysts say the number of successful start-ups in China in the past few years has given rise to an increasing entrepreneurial spirit and new opportunities.

As of April, 38.9 per cent of this year’s college graduates had not accepted a full-time job. In contrast with the bleak employment situation, the students’ salary expectations were on the rise: 77 per cent of those surveyed chose the “4000-5,999 yuan” (HK$5,010-$7,515) option as their expected monthly salary, while last year 75 per cent chose “2000-3999 yuan”.

Analysts attributed the higher salary expectations primarily to increasing living expenses. Also, college graduates born since 1990 tend to put more emphasis on lifestyle choices than their predecessors, and this also leads to the higher salary demands, they said.

Although the state-owned firms still have the advantage in the job stability and benefits they offer to new graduates, their attraction starts to drop off as the overall economy grows and work experience and job opportunities increase.

This is evidenced by the fact the 33.6 per cent of people with more than three years’ work experience said they preferred to be employed at private-sector firms, while only 23.9 per cent stuck to the state-owned firms.

The report also listed the students’ “50 most desirable employers” with China Mobile on top and Bank of China second. The field of telecommunications was seen as the most attractive followed by finance and electronics.