Many young Chinese are considering newly emerged and flexible jobs at a time when employers are offering less-tempting payment due to the higher pressure of running businesses during the current economic downturn.
A recent report produced by the recruitment portal Zhaopin shows that the average new recruit's salary in the second quarter of this year in 38 major cities like Beijing and Shanghai experienced slight growth of 1.6 percent over the previous quarter, rising to an average of around 10,266 yuan ($1,422) per month. However, this figure is down 0.7 percent on the same period last year due to operating pressures and reduced company budgets.
Among the 38 cities, Shanghai continues to occupy the top slot with a monthly salary of 13,486 yuan, followed by Beijing at 13,438 yuan per month and Shenzhen in Guangdong at 12,774 yuan per month.
According to the report, sectors including funds and securities, banking and electronic technologies are currently offering the highest salaries. For example, insurance companies are offering an average monthly salary of 11,269 yuan.
Given less-tempting recruitment salaries, more young people are showing a preference for flexible jobs, or newly emerged jobs such as street vending, volunteering at temples.
In another report, Zhaopin revealed that 18.9 percent of those surveyed in the second quarter have already taken a flexible job and 51.1 percent are considering doing so. The size of the sample surveyed was not revealed.
What is noteworthy is that some new forms of employment are emerging as favorite choices, including working as a street vendor, or as a temple volunteer, while among those with rural background, returning home to farm is also emerging as a popular choice.
"I'm getting tired of so-called 'modern life', where I work 9 am to 9 pm six days a week. I earn money but I don't have time to spend it," said Sun Yiqian, a 29-year-old communications engineer in Beijing, who is considering becoming a part-time street vendor if she quits her job.
"I've had a stall at night markets with my friends selling accessories and it makes me happy and relaxed. I'm considering quitting, maybe next month, and starting my own business running a street stall," she said.
Yao Xin is yet to decide whether to find a steady or a flexible job, when she finishes postgraduate studies in Beijing next June.
"I've interned at some companies as a human resources assistant and as a marketing department assistant, and it was very stressful. My parents want me to be a teacher, which is a steady job, but I want to be a freelancer or new media content creator. I still have a year to consider my future," the 24-year-old said.
At a recent news conference in Beijing, Minister of Education Huai Jinpeng said that young people have greatly changed their career outlook over the last five to 10 years, as they now have many other options, such as taking a flexible job. "We promote a positive career outlook through which young people understand society and create their own value through practice and employment," he said.