A job seeker (left) talks with a recruitment officer on Saturday at a job fair in Hefei, Anhui province. China has created a more friendly environment for entrepreneurs and stepped up efforts to secure the rights of the flexibly employed. (Provided to China Daily)
China will maintain a stable employment landscape in 2023 by continuing to implement the employment-first policy and energizing people's passion for entrepreneurship in order to develop new growth points in the job market.
In November, the nation surpassed the year's target of creating 11 million new jobs, with about 12.06 million people landing jobs in urban areas. The encouraging achievement, which came despite economic challenges and a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, was due to the recovering economy and support policies in the fiscal, monetary, and employment sectors.
Wang Xiaoping, minister of human resources and social security, said in a recent interview with China Central Television that the nation sustained a stable job market last year, with the employment of college graduates and other key groups — primarily migrant workers and demobilized military members — maintaining good performance. In addition, the number of formerly impoverished people finding jobs increased, she said.
Wang also said that "policies and follow-up measures for stabilizing the economy have driven the economy to recover and helped industries to develop (in 2022), which has given strong support to the growth of employment."
As of November, deferral of a total of 116.2 billion yuan ($17.1 billion) in social security fees, such as pension security and work-related injury insurance payments, was allowed in order to help companies retain job positions, she added.
The nation has also created a more friendly environment for entrepreneurs and stepped up efforts to secure the working rights of the flexibly employed, Wang said.
For example, Huzhou, Zhejiang province, released a guideline near the end of the year on protecting the working rights of flexible workers. It called for improving such workers' sense of happiness and safety by optimizing the government's guidance and enhancing flexible workers' skills training and social security. So far, 18,275 workers, or around 44 percent of the city's flexibly employed, are included in the social security net.
Meanwhile, in 2022, the ministry's employment services were used more than 100 million times, and working skills training programs were used over 16 million times.
Wang said her ministry will continue to implement the employment-first policy in 2023 and make every effort to stabilize the job market by setting a target of developing high-quality employment.
She said this is of great importance to energizing people's passion for entrepreneurship in order to incubate new growth points for the job market.
"We will keep promoting the employment of key groups and establish a group of pioneer zones for startup incubation," she said.
"It's necessary to stabilize the employment of college graduates and help unemployed young people to reenter the market as soon as possible. We will improve employment services and carry out training campaigns to relieve the structural imbalance of the job market. Regulating the job market is also important, including cracking down on fraudulent agencies and addressing gender bias to better secure workers' rights."
Wang said that the ministry will prioritize college graduates' finding jobs. The employment of graduates, whose population is projected to reach 11.58 million this year, matters much to the fulfillment of their personal value and the happiness of their families, as well as the nation's high-quality economic development, she said.
The ministry will help create more job openings for college graduates by granting allowances to companies and encouraging government bodies to offer job opportunities, Wang said. In addition, the ministry will organize skills training campaigns for college graduates and help them get internships with companies.