A glance at China’s initiatives to tackle unemployment that saw over 12 million urban jobs created in 2023

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 4 March 2024 at 03:10

The People’s Republic of China created 12.44 million urban jobs in 2023, thanks to implemented measures to tackle joblessness and promote entrepreneurship. The disclosure was made by Liu Jieyi, the Spokesperson for the Second Session of the 14th National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at a press conference in Beijing on Sunday ahead of ‘The Two Sessions’ slated from March 4th to 10th, 2024.

The ‘Two Sessions’ are the concurrent yearly meetings of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and the National People’s Congress (NPC) usually held at the Great Hall of the People, a building in Beijing used for legislature and other ceremonial activities of national interest.

Jieyi, who was responding to journalists on the work of the CPPCC committee to promote employment, underscored that employment of the young people, especially the fresh graduates, is of great interest to the people and shed light on various measures put in place.

He explained that the CPC Central Committee and the State Council have put employment front where various localities and departments have taken multiple measures to stabilize and expand the job market.

Jieyi disclosed that in 2023, the funding provided by the government at all levels to directly support jobs and start-ups exceeded 300 billion yuan.

He cited targeted measures that were taken to support jobs for college graduates, urban and rural residents living in difficulties that saw 12.44 million new urban jobs created last year.

“This is a hard-won result. It also laid a solid foundation for providing sound policies in support of employment and sustaining the good momentum in the job market,” he stated.

Among others, Jieyi elucidated that the National Committee has worked to help stabilize and promote employment where the CPC members and relevant departments conducted in-depth research on promoting high-quality employment, analyzed trends in the job market.

Additionally, Liu Jieyi revealed that they also put forth targeted proposals for promoting jobs and entrepreneurship for college graduates, strengthening institution safeguard for flexible employment, spurring job creation through the digital economy, and fostering a more equal job market.

Besides, a lot of targeted and vision proposals have been made on all these fronts. To this end, Ninety-one proposals have been made, a lot of which were adopted as policies by party and government bodies to resolve problems on the ground.

Liu Jieyi, the Spokesperson for the Second Session of the 14th National Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) at a press conference in Beijing on Sunday ahead of ‘The Two Sessions’. (Xinhua/Chen Yehua)

Regarding the difficulties facing both the fresh graduates and employers, Jieyi highlighted that targeted proposals for an interconnected mechanism between universities and industries to help university graduates find jobs were put forth and adopted by competent authorities.

The CPCC has also worked to promote the implementation of relevant policies.

Through the program of serving the people, some CPCC members have engaged in the initiative to bring their businesses to the campus and help the students with counseling and career planning and provided internship and job opportunities for the students based on the needs of the companies, contributing to the implementation of employment policies.

In response to structural difficulties in both job seeking and hiring, such as the shortage of skilled workers, the CPCC members have worked with representatives of relevant sectors and departments on subjects including setting up an incentive mechanism for workers with innovative skills.

On top of this, Jieyi indicated that they also held consultative seminars and offered recommendations for improving the wage distribution mechanism for skilled talents.

As a result, he said, this enhanced the training of such talents, enforced the tiered system of vocational skills and fostered a high standard vocational education system.

Jieyi also outlined projections for 2024, where the National Committee is expected to take further steps on stabilizing and expanding employment.

“The committee will conduct research on improving the system in support of stable employment of college graduates and have consultations on improving the lifelong vocational skills training system. This will be done with a view to resolve structural job issues, thus contributing its share to implementing the employment first strategy and improving people’s well-being,” he noted.

With a population of 1.4 billion, China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2023 posted a growth of 5.2% percent year on year, higher than the annual target of around 5 percent. It reached a record of 126.06 trillion yuan (about 17.71 trillion US dollars) last year.

The surveyed unemployment rate on average in China stood at 5.2 percent in 2023, down 0.4 percentage points from 2022.

Meanwhile, the surveyed unemployment rate of the workforce of the 16-25-29 age groups of the workforce excluding students was 14.9 percent, 6.1 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.

College graduates at a job fair in Shanghai University of Engineering Science in east China's Shanghai, Oct. 16, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Ying)