Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chinese Graduates Face Toughest Job Market Ever

A college degree in China is of less value in China, as it is in the US. China is in the early stages of the down phase of the business cycle and no doubt there are also job regulations which make it risky for firms to hire new employees. This combination is especially tough for recent college graduates. FT reports:

According to the ministry of education, 6.99m students will graduate from university this summer, 190,000 more than last year and the most since records began in 1949.
Tough competition and slackness in China’s economy have made 2013 what many in the media have described as the “hardest” yet for graduates looking for jobs. According to Shanghai Evening Post, the situation is even more severe than it was in late 2008, when the global financial crisis was at its height.
The Post reported that by the end of April, only about 30 per cent of graduates had signed employment contracts in Shanghai, 10 per cent fewer than in previous years. In Beijing, the number is 26.6 per cent of college graduates and 36.59 per cent of postgraduates as of mid April, according to the Beijing Evening News.
A negative sign that much of the planned economy remains in China, graduates are having less difficulty finding government jobs:

At [Peking University's] school of government, things seem not so bad. Zhang Xiaodong, of the school’s student affairs office, says that despite the tougher climate for job hunters this year, his students’ final offers were “pretty good” – half of them would join big SOEs [State Operated Enterprises] on graduation.

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