New job supply outpacing market needs: index
China expects to have added 13 million new jobs this year, according to a post on the central government's website, exceeding the government's official target of 10 million.
The country - which is struggling with slow economic growth - attaches great importance to employment. The job market is "a barometer of the economy" and "the foundation of people's livelihood," Premier Li Keqiang has reiterated several times in central government work papers and daily press releases.
Since the beginning of this year, China has enjoyed solid growth in employment, the post noted, citing data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. Statistics showed that from January-November, 12.49 million urbanities found new jobs.
Growing job supply
An index designed by the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) to monitor the prosperity in China's job market reached 2.22 during the third quarter, up from 1.71 in the first quarter.
An index rating above 1 indicates that the new job supply is outpacing market needs.
These latest figures suggest that the market is prosperous, according to a report issued by the CIER based on the index in late October.
Wang Danqing, partner with the Beijing-based ACME consultancy, said the good performance in China's job market reflects a gradual economic recovery.
"The country's economy is still facing downward pressure and adjusting in the long run, but it maintained moderate growth over the past few quarters," Wang told the Global Times on Sunday.
GDP in China has been staying within the annual growth target range of 6.5 percent to 7 percent, official data showed.
CIER predicts that the fourth quarter will witness the creation of more new jobs driven by the emergence of new services related to e-commerce and the Internet.
The government post on Saturday also attributed the good performance in the job market in part to the booming Internet service sector.
Still, Vivien Xie, a partner with Beijing-based human resources consultancy Pro-Matrix & Co, warned that a layoff wave could take place in the last quarter of the year among domestic Internet companies that need to launch a retrenchment amid a lack of capital.
During the third quarter, VC/PE investment in the Internet sector reached $3.6 billion, down 36.21 percent from the second quarter, according to ChinaVenture Investment Consulting.
"Investors have become prudent this year with Internet ventures. But they are expected to pour lots of money into the Internet sector again next year, indicating a growth in jobs created by the sector," Xie told the Global Times. "The Internet sector is still the most preferred destination for capital."
Other high-end sectors such as new energy and smart manufacturing will also create new jobs in the coming years, along with the nation's industry upgrading, she noted, showing optimism toward China's job market.
However, Wang holds a wait-and-see attitude.
"The employment situation will still be severe. An increasing number of low-end labor forces in the traditional manufacturing sector will be shifted out, while firms reduce overcapacity and embrace the Internet as well as smart production to cut costs," he said.
New upgraded businesses and services amid the Internet boom can create new jobs, but most of them require higher skilled workers that are in insufficient supply in China, said Wang.