News / Asia

Chinese Graduates Face Tight Job Market

A man adjusts a student's mortar board during the graduation ceremony at Fudan University in Shanghai June 28, 2006. (File)
A man adjusts a student's mortar board during the graduation ceremony at Fudan University in Shanghai June 28, 2006. (File)
William Ide
China will see a record number of graduates moving into the job market this summer. Seven million will complete their studies this year and shift their attention toward building a career. With China’s economy already slowing, job prospects for many new graduates are not good.
 
At a hotel near some of Beijing's most prestigious schools, scores of job seekers are lined up, waiting to speak with recruiters about opportunities at software, information technology and engineering firms.
 
One of them is An Tingting, a 22-year-old recent graduate from central Henan province. She came to Beijing a couple months ago to take an IT training course.
 
“I have been looking for jobs the past two weeks and I think that it is indeed hard because I graduated from a vocational school, and so the level of my education is pretty low. Also, I did not study software in college, I studied education, so it is more difficult for me to find an IT job,” she said.

Not only are there seven million graduates this year moving into the market, but more than 200,000 who graduated last year are still looking for jobs.
 
“Only 30 percent of graduates can sign a contract and be employed right away," explained Hu Xingdou, an economist at the Beijing Institute of Technology. "The majority of students have to continue to look for work or remain unemployed."
 
And it’s not just the number of graduates that is making the search for jobs difficult.
 
After a decade of double-digit growth, China’s economy is slowing. Chinese leaders admit they are struggling to keep growth around seven percent.
 
But, Hu Xingdou said the biggest problem is the unsustainable structure of China’s industry and the huge disparities between regions.
 
“There are many places in China where graduate students are needed, but graduate students are not willing to go. For example private enterprises in China have a strong need for graduate students, but students prefer to go to state owned enterprises, government departments, public institutions, foreign companies and so forth,” Hu said.

Back at the job fair, Xie Zhiyong said that while he already has a job, he is looking for another because he does not like his current work environment.  He said that if you have some experience, it is easy to find jobs.
 
Xie studied bio-technology and graduated two years ago from a school in southeastern Jiangxi province.
 
“In Beijing there are more companies, more talent is here and there are more opportunities… I want to develop myself here for a bit and then I hope to go back to Jiangxi to develop more," Xie said.
 
Recently, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called on companies to give more opportunities to new graduates. In response, some privately run enterprises have announced increases in their hiring of new graduates.
 
Analysts say the government could go even further by giving private companies tax incentives and funding to help level the playing field with state-owned enterprises. They also say the government could encourage new graduates to work in smaller cities away from China’s coastal areas by giving them subsidies or other incentives.

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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Matthews from: London
June 07, 2013 4:54 AM
I work for a graduate recruitment website in the UK (We Connect Students). There is a similar job shortage for UK students who don't look in the right place - In some cases there are 100s of applicants going for one job. We have a system that connects employers with only students that match their job criteria.


by: Ulchi from: US
June 01, 2013 1:45 PM
American graduates don't have better chance than those in China anyways. 7.5% unemployed rate is not good at all for the young, newly graduated.


by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
June 01, 2013 10:50 AM
Dictatorship China: literacy : total94.2% ,male96.7% femal91.5%
26% of China's university-age population is enrolled in an institution of higher education.
Democratic India: literacy: total73% male80.9% femal64.6%
and 18% university enrollment in India.
Well, now you can judge by yourself.


by: Sun from: Taipei
May 31, 2013 2:38 AM
As long as CPR (Communist China) exists, Chinese graduates will never become happy. Chinese economy will be destructed by the enormous inflation of military expenses and corruption committed by CPR leaders and their relatives. China must be freed from the one-party rule. Otherwise no bright prospect can be seen by Chinese graduates, although they are very capable.

In Response

by: Jonathan Huang from: canada
June 01, 2013 10:37 AM
tell me Sun from Taipei then how come Democratic India has worse corruption than China and its economy is also much worse than China's? Tell me if democratic Mexico or Brazil is better than China!
your comments is funny trying to connect dictatorship with economy or corruption.

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