China pledges to reduce unemployment, reduce inflation

China pledges to reduce unemployment, reduce inflation

On Tuesday, job seekers scan QR codes to learn more about employers at a recruitment event in Haikou, Hainan province. The time following Spring Festival is a popular time to find employment. Job fairs have been organized across the country. ZHANG MAO China has pledged to reduce unemployment this year and reduce inflation as a result of a move by central authorities to strengthen social safety nets for the vulnerable.

The announcement was made at the annual Central Economic Work Conference in Beijing in mid-December.

According to the readout released by the Xinhua News AgencyXinhua News Agency on December 16, the meeting listed the stabilization of economic growth, employment and consumer prices as the top priorities this year.

According to Xinhua, officials agreed that social policies this year should focus on protecting people's basic needs, as well as people's basic needs for employment, food and housing, among others.

Local authorities were encouraged to roll out concrete and detailed employment policies and offer more support to college graduates entering the job market.

They were asked to make plans that fit local conditions to meet young people's housing needs and support the rental housing market, Xinhua said.

Younger workers were among the worst hit by Omicron-fueled outbreaks that swept through China in recent months.

The China Institute for Employment Research Director, Zeng Xiangquan, said that college graduates are bearing the brunt of downward economic pressure, which leads to the reduction of existing jobs.

The National Bureau of Statistics data showed that the unemployment rate among workers aged between 16 and 24 in urban areas reached 16 percent in March, and had a peak in July at 19.9 percent.

The number was 17.1 percent in November, down 0.8 of a percentage point from October. The bureau said that the unemployment rate is three times higher than the unemployment rate for rural migrants, who mostly work in the construction, wholesale and retail sectors.

The Ministry of Education figures show that 10.76 million students are graduating this summer, up 1.67 million year-on-year. Their influx into the job market will push up the unemployment rate among younger people, according to experts.

In recent months, employment authorities have organized job fairs on campuses and rolled out training to improve job interview skills.

They also pledged to train 2 million graduates who want to start their own businesses by 2024.

Fu Linghui, a NBS spokesman, said in an interview with People's Daily that China's economic growth remains on a positive trajectory.

The economy is bound to recover and create more jobs as policies are implemented to optimize pandemic control and to stabilize the economy, according to Fu.

Macroeconomics experts and institutes have predicted that China's growth rate will be above 5 percent this year, which is expected to ease the strain on the job market.

The meeting also included less well-off groups for emphasis.

Xinhua said local authorities were asked to put in place policies in a timely and effective manner to mitigate the impact of consumer prices and do everything within their power to prevent vulnerable rural residents from sliding back into poverty.

Basic needs must be met for those affected by natural disasters and the COVID-19 epidemic, as well as vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with disabilities, according to Xinhua.

There were officials at the meeting who called for more efforts to protect labor rights of those working in the gig economy, such as delivery drivers, increase rural healthcare investment, and offer support to couples planning to expand their families.