NPC, CPPCC Annual
Special Report: Global Financial
BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China pledged Thursday
it will implement an even more proactive employment policy this year and
allocate 42 billion yuan to offset unemployment caused by the global financial
To create more jobs, the government will make full
use of the role of the service sector, labor-intensive industries, small and
medium-sized enterprises, and the non-public sector of the economy, said Premier
Wen Jiabao at the opening of the parliament's annual session.
Graphics shows that a total of 42 billion RMB yuan (6.15 billion U.S. dollars) will be allocated for the implementation of a more proactive employment policy, according to the government work report released on March 5, 2009. (Xinhua/Zheng Yue)
"We will do everything in our power to stimulate
employment," said Wen when delivering the government work report to nearly 3,000
deputies to the National People's Congress.
He said priority will be given to finding jobs for
university graduates and migrant workers.
The two groups are the hardest hit as the deepening
global financial crisis dented job demand in the world's fastest-expanding
China set a target of about 8 percent in annual
economic growth this year after the economy cooled to a seven-year low of 9
percent annual rate in 2008 as a fallout of the global financial crisis.
"In China, a developing country with a population of
1.3 billion, maintaining a certain growth rate for the economy is essential for
expanding employment for both urban and rural residents, increasing people's
incomes and ensuring social stability," Wen said.
WORST YET TO
China is yet to see the worst employment situation
while its economy has shown signs of recovery, as the rebound of job creation is
usually behind economic turnaround, said Li Yining, a leading Chinese economist
with Peking University.
"The economy usually demand less labor after
experiencing a crisis because it will see improved technologies, equipment and
productivity," said Li, also a member of the 11th National Committee of the
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the nation's top
political advisory body.
The urban unemployment rate rose to 4.2 percent at
the end of 2008, up 0.2 percentage points year-on-year.
The country aims to keep its registered jobless rate
below 4.6 percent and provide 9 million new urban jobs this year, according to
"It's not an easy target, but the country is actively
finding ways to make it happen," said Li.
Li noted that while China should develop capital- and
technology-intensive industries for the long-term growth, special aid should be
given to labor-intensive companies to meet the urgent need of boosting
He called for reforms to give fair treatment and
easier market access to private enterprises, which can absorb a large part of
Labor oversupply will continue to exist in China in a
long period and can only be solved by stronger domestic demand and faster
industrial restructuring, said Cai Fang, head of the Institute of Population and
Labor Economics, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
The government will offer social security benefits
and position subsidies for college graduates who take jobs in public
administration and public services at the community level, Wen told the
Wen said graduates who either take jobs in villages
or enlist in the army will receive tuition reimbursement and have their student
Institutions of higher learning, research institutes
and enterprises undertaking key research projects will be encouraged to recruit
qualified university graduates to do research work.
To help graduates start their own businesses, the
government will speed up the establishment of startup industrial parks and
incubation bases that require less investment and yield quicker results.
There will be 7.1 million Chinese college graduates
seeking vacancies this year, including 1 million who failed to secure jobs last
Chen Guangjin, a CASS employment expert, said the
jobless rate among college graduates have exceeded 12 percent, about three times
the registered urban unemployment rate.
The problem was caused by not only the financial
crisis but also the government's expansion of higher education coverage, he
Some legislators urged college graduates to lower
their job expectations and go to work in grassroots units and the less developed
"Too many graduates are jostling for popular
vacancies because of the unbalanced development between the country's east and
west," said NPC deputy Guo Guoqing, a professor with the Renmin University of
He noted that there remains a great shortfall in
high-quality talents at grassroots positions related to education, health and
Meanwhile, China will boost government investment and
launch major projects to employ more migrant workers, said Wen.
As waning foreign demand battered coastal exporters,
China has seen about 20 million out of 130 million migrant workers returning to
their rural homes without jobs.
Enterprises in a difficult situation will be
encouraged to prevent layoffs by renegotiating wage levels with their employees,
adopting flexible employment and work hours, or providing on-job training for
them, said Wen.
The government will also increase the export of
organized labor services and guide the orderly flow of rural migrant workers,
Economist Li suggested granting small loans to help
jobless migrant workers start their own businesses, which would be more
effective in absorbing them than launching infrastructure projects.
NPC deputy Yang Qingyu, director of the Chongqing
Municipal Development and Reform Commission, urged for faster transfer of
industries from the eastern coast to the central and western regions. That could
help migrant workers in those areas find nearer jobs and reduce regional
The view was echoed by Yang's fellow deputy Kang
Houming, a construction worker from Chongqing.
"It's a good thing if those industries can be moved
to our hometowns, so we can take care of both our jobs and families," said Kang.