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Ministry vows efforts to vitalize job market

By Cheng Si Source: China Daily Updated: 2024-01-26


A job fair for college graduates is held in Shanghai on Oct 16, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's employment situation remained stable in 2023, and the authorities have made continuous efforts to assist people who are more vulnerable to the volatility of the job market.

A state-level campaign will be carried out from late this month through early April, with the aim of improving employment services for migrant workers, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced on Wednesday.

It said that 30 million job openings will be available to the group during the three-month campaign.

The ministry will investigate employers' specific hiring needs and the working preferences of migrant workers and then introduce government policies and labor laws for migrant workers. It said that during the campaign, online and on-site job fairs will be organized, including on short-video sharing platforms and in high-traffic places such as railway stations and supermarkets.

In addition to promoting well-organized recruitment activities, the ministry also aims to encourage migrant workers to find jobs near their hometown or return to their hometown to launch startups.

In 2023, the population of migrant workers saw slight year-on-year growth of 0.6 percent to roughly 297.5 million, and the group's average monthly salary reached 4,780 yuan ($670), up 3.6 percent year-on-year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

"Employment concerns people's basic livelihood, which is an important support to the nation's economic development. Last year, the domestic job market was stable, with young people's employment getting better and the population of migrant worker continuously growing," said Yun Donglai, deputy director of the ministry's employment promotion department, at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.

According to the ministry, 12.44 million people landed jobs in urban areas last year, surpassing the annual target of 12 million. In 2021, 12.69 million new jobs were created in urban areas, while in 2022, the number was 12.06 million.

Earlier this month, the NBS announced that last year's average surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, lower than the yearly target of 5.5 percent.

"These are hard-won achievements, thanks to the recovering economy and optimized employment-promotion policies. Last year, governments at all levels invested over 300 billion yuan in the work of stabilizing employment and promoting entrepreneurship," Yun said.

He said that employment-assistance activities and work skills training campaigns by human resources bureaus have also played an important role in promoting employment. In 2023, the ministry helped 5.14 million laid-off people in urban areas, and 1.72 million people who were finding it difficult to be hired due to disabilities or their poor financial condition, to find jobs.

However, Yun said that increasing economic uncertainties and the structural imbalance of the job market are yet to be resolved, and this will continue to put pressure on the market's stability in 2024.

He said that the government will step up efforts to improve the employment-promotion mechanism and give more priority to the employment-first policy to consolidate the good momentum of employment recovery.

"We will tap the potential of some advanced manufacturing and information industries, such as the digital economy and green economy, and also the 'silver economy' (products and services aimed at people over age 50) to create more job opportunities. Strong support will also be given to private companies and small and medium-sized companies, as they are the main employers of job seekers," he added.

According to Yun, the ministry will further regulate flexible employment and channel more resources to assist the employment of college graduates, people lifted out of poverty and middle-aged or older migrant workers this year.