State Council working harder to shore up nation's job market
The central government has scaled up measures to create jobs and stabilize the job market, pledging to continue to issue loans to eligible startups and self-employed individuals and help college graduates and migrant workers find jobs.
In its executive meeting on July 13, the State Council, China's Cabinet, adopted a host of measures to shore up employment, including a policy stipulating that guarantee loans of up to 200,000 yuan ($29,700) will be provided to eligible startups and self-employed households, with interest subsidies to be offered from government funds.
The meeting called for local governments to earmark funds to help business incubation bases lower rents and other fees for startups.
The meeting came as China's urban unemployment rate reached 5.7 percent for the first half of this year, with the surveyed urban unemployment rate dropping from 6.1 percent in April to 5.5 percent in June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The Government Work Report this year set the target of creating 11 million urban jobs and maintaining the urban unemployment rate at or below 5.5 percent.
Meanwhile, the jobless rate for people age 25 to 59 was 4.5 percent in June, down by 0.6 percentage points from May and close to the average level last year. Fu Linghui, a spokesman with the NBS, told a news conference on July 15 that the nation has turned the tide for the rise in urban employment rate as the economy is gradually recovering.
Youth unemployment remains a major challenge in the nation's labor market as the unemployment rate for people age 16 to 24 reached 19.3 percent in June.
Fu attributed the rise in youth unemployment to frictional unemployment－the fallow period between successive jobs－as most young people were entering the job market for the first time. He highlighted the need to continue giving priority to helping key groups, including the young people, find work in a bid to stabilize the job market.
The State Council meeting on July 13 called for intensified efforts to help with the employment of college graduates, which totaled a record high of 10.76 million this year, saying that policies will be rolled out to support the hiring of graduates in outsourcing industries. It pledged to offer tailored employment services to graduates who have yet to find jobs and carry out public works programs effectively.
The meeting also decided to allow workers on flexible payrolls to join basic pension and medical insurance programs where they work and extend social insurance subsidies to graduates and those having difficulty finding jobs when they engage in flexible employment.
Zhang Ying, head of the job promotion department at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, told a news conference on July 22 that helping unemployed graduates find jobs will continue to be a priority going forward.
She said the government will provide tailored services for unemployed graduates, including boosting recruitment at the grassroots level and providing more internships.