BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Ninety percent of civil servants in central government organs have come from ordinary households in the past three years, the minister of human resources and social security said Tuesday.
"About 60 percent of civil servants come from worker and farmer households, and the figure reaches 90 percent when including families of teachers, doctors, engineers, private business owners and freelance workers," said Yin Weimin, the minister.
Yin said the methods used to examine and recruit civil servants are largely considered fair, though the popularity of the civil servant exam has stirred some debate.
The exam includes an aptitude test and a written essay on policy, with successful candidates going on to an interview after passing these portions of the exam.
Government posts are sought after for the stability they offer, as employment pressure has increased in recent years.
Yin said 90 percent of civil servants are working in mid-level administrations, with 60 percent serving at the county level or below.
"Civil servants at the county level will be promoted and receive greater benefits if they work hard," Yin said.
According to the ministry, a total of 188,000 people were recruited as civil servants in 2012, with 18,000 working in central government organs and 170,000 in local regions.
In 2012, more recruits had work experience at grassroots-level posts, and nearly all the posts above the provincial level were filled by people with more than two years of work experience, the ministry said.
Yang Shiqiu, vice minister of human resources and social security, said the quality of civil servants has improved in recent years, with 92 percent of public servants acquiring undergraduate degrees or higher level degrees, and 26 percent of recruits were below the age of 35.
About 1.12 million candidates took the national civil servant exam on Nov. 25, 2012, an increase of 150,000 from 2011, according to the State Administration of Civil Service.
One in every 53 examinees will successfully obtain a government post, according to the administration.