China's 2024 national civil servant exams begin with candidates, vacancies hitting record high

2023-11-27 08:44:47Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China's annual national public servant exams started on Sunday, with the number of candidates surpassing 3 million for the first time in history. A record high of 39,600 vacancies will be available at central government agencies and their directly affiliated institutions, meaning about 77 candidates on average are competing for a single position.

The number of recruitment positions for national public servants has been increasing for the past five years in a row, with this year's number doubling the 14,500 available positions in 2019.

Experts attributed the expansion in public servant recruitment to the adjustments in government responsibilities, the increasing demand for reserve forces, as well as a move to boost employment among college graduates.

In March, Reform of Party and State institutions 2023 has been approved by China's national legislature, which turned many positions of public institutions into ones which provides by agency directly under the central government bodies and agencies, Xiong Wenzhao, the distinguished professor and the Vice President, National Institute of Institutions from Tianjin University Law School, told the Global Times on Sunday.

According to reports, administrative and enforcement positions account for more than 70 percent of the Recruitment positions in total, which was the result from enforcing the Primary-level governance of law enforcement, Xiong explained.

According to the National Civil Service Administration, a total of 3.03 million candidates passed the qualification examination to sit the national public servant exams. The ratio of qualified applicants to recruitment positions is about 77 to 1, higher than the candidate-position ratio of 70 to 1 for the 2023 exams.

In 2023, nearly 2.6 million candidates competed for the 37,100 vacancies available at central government agencies and their directly affiliated institutions.

Although the annual intake for national public servants has increased by 6.7 percent from 2023, the competition for the recruitment positions is much fiercer since there are more candidates taking part in the 2024 exams.

As of the end of the application period, the ratio of qualified applicants to recruitment positions for the top 10 most popular positions surpasses 1,700 to 1. The ratio of the most popular recruitment position is 3,572 to 1, according to statistics from a number of national civil servant exam related institutions.

The most popular position is with the survey team at the National Bureau of Statistics in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region. There is only one position open. Candidates with a master's degree or above in nine selected majors can apply for the position with no requirements concerning work experience.

Zhu Chao, an employee from Huatu Education, a professional examination training institution, told Jiupai News that the position has become the most popular national public servant recruitment position because of its not-so-high entry threshold.

Meanwhile, more positions - 26,000 - will be designated for fresh college graduates in the 2024 national public servant annual intake, with qualified candidates' field of expertise expanding to broader categories, offering opportunities to people from more diverse backgrounds.

However, Xiong also pointed out that boosting college graduate employment cannot solely rely on public servant positions, in spite of recent years' increase in national public servant positions designated for fresh college graduates.

Ensuring college graduate employment still depends on the nation's economic growth, and the increase of jobs in the entire national economic sector, including at private companies, Xiong said.

Besides this, the threshold of academic qualifications for national public servants has risen significantly this year, and the demand for highly educated talents has increased as well. Only 56 positions are available to junior college graduates this year, down by 106 positions last year, a stark contrast to the significant increase in positions demanding candidates with masters' degrees or above, according to China Youth Daily.

A total of 2,045 positions are available to candidates with masters' degrees or above, and 24 positions are available to candidates with PhD diplomas.

The increase in the recruitment among doctoral students and students with masters' degrees shows that the construction of a high-quality service-oriented government cannot do without the participation of high-quality talents, China Youth Daily reported, citing the analysis of Wang Jian, chief research and tutoring expert from Zhonggong Education, an examination training institution.

Additionally, experts have attributed the fiercer competition in the national civil servant exam in recent years to the fact that civil servant positions tend to be more stable.

On Chinese social media, the fierce competition in recruitment of public servants, teaching positions and positions at state-owned companies has sparked heated discussions. A latest poll on Sina Weibo shows that one in third of 30,000 participants said they feel happier if their jobs are more stable, whereas only 20 percent think life with a stable job may be dull and without prospects.

According to media reports, the number of fresh college graduates in China has been continuously increasing over the past few years, breaking the 10 million mark for the first time in 2022 and reaching 11.58 million in 2023, with a record high of 11.87 million expected in 2024.

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