China has made historic achievements in employment and social security during the past decade, bolstering its steady economic expansion and social stability, a senior official said Thursday.
The results have created favorable conditions for the country to duly accomplish its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all aspects, Li Zhong, vice minister of human resources and social security, told a press conference.
He pointed out the notable accomplishments that include a stable job market in a country of 1.4 billion people, creating over 13 million new urban jobs annually and keeping the surveyed urban unemployment rate generally lower than the control targets during the past decade.
Li noted that China's job market has seen a more optimized structure in the past 10 years. In 2021, urban employees accounted for 62.7 percent of the total. The tertiary sector has become the largest generator of jobs.
Chinese people now receive better pay compared to 10 years ago. The salary of urban employees in 2021 doubled from that in 2012.
The employment situation of key groups involving a total of 80 million college graduates and some 290 million migrant workers has been generally stable in the past decade.
Workers laid off due to the cutback of redundant production capacity, the unemployed and those in need have been aided.
To ease the downward pressure on the economy, reduce business costs as well as stabilize employment, China has lowered social insurance premiums seven times in recent years, Qi Tao, an official with the ministry, told the press conference.
Policies such as the reduction and exemption of social insurance premiums have been rolled out to help enterprises cope with the impact of COVID-19 since 2020. In the first seven months of this year, over 100 billion yuan (about 14.59 billion U.S. dollars) of exemptions were offered to enterprises, Qi said.
Meanwhile, premium payments worth 49.4 billion yuan of old-age insurance, unemployment insurance, and workplace injury insurance were deferred for the hard-hit catering, retail, tourism, civil aviation, highway, waterway and railway transportation industries as well as 17 other sectors impacted by COVID-19 from the end of April to the end of July.
As for China's basic old-age insurance, a key program to ensure people's well-being after retirement, the number of people covered by basic old-age insurance increased from 790 million to 1.04 billion, up 250 million from 2012 to the end of June 2022.
To address the challenges of an aging population and regional disparity, the country has been coordinating efforts to develop a national pension program.
Through a central coordination system, more than 930 billion yuan were allocated from the national pool to cover the deficiencies of local pension schemes last year alone.
Going ahead, China will strive to stabilize and expand employment with fiscal, monetary and industrial efforts, while encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation, Li said.
Supportive measures will be provided for key groups, including college graduates, migrant workers and job seekers in need, while vocational training services will also be enhanced.
Efforts will be made to protect the legitimate rights and interests of workers, according to the vice minister.