Support given to job seekers high on agenda

Updated:2020-10-12 By Zhang Yue (China Daily)

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Job seekers stop by a company booth at a career fair at Anhui University of Science and Technology in Huainan, Anhui province, on June 16, 2020. CHEN BIN/FOR CHINA DAILY

China will adopt new pro-employment measures and enhance its support for key groups of job seekers to meet this year's job creation targets, the State Council's executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Oct 9.

It was agreed at the meeting that since the start of this year, local governments and departments have implemented strong measures to support employment. The surveyed urban unemployment rate has since dropped steadily from its February peak.

"The employment situation remains stable overall. Yet we shall not let down our guard against potential risks. From January to August, 7.81 million urban jobs have been created. We are well-positioned to achieve the target of creating 9 million new urban jobs for the entire year," Li said at the meeting.

"At the same time we must recognize the challenges in employment prospects, the unemployment rate in certain groups of the population and in some regions remains high. Those employed have seen their incomes shrink," Li added.

It was urged at the Friday meeting that greater efforts are needed to support market entities and create jobs. Measures to relieve business burdens, secure jobs and expand employment need to be fine-tuned to better benefit small and micro-sized businesses and industries that are particularly hard-hit and recovering at a slower pace.

"In the first half, we focused on helping businesses to keep their payrolls stable," Li said. "Starting from now, our focus will be shifted to adding new jobs. We must not reduce the intensity of fiscal and financial support policies or the policies in improving the business climate. Great importance must be placed on the employment of college graduates this year."

Support for key groups of job seekers needs to be prioritized. College graduates will receive support for employment and business startups, and skills training will be provided to make them better prepared for jobs.

Market resources will be leveraged to create more job opportunities. Employment services will also be provided to college graduates who have yet to find jobs to support their transition from campus to career.

Employment services and support for entrepreneurial activities will be stepped up for rural migrant workers. Public works programs for poverty alleviation purposes will be expanded in both sectors of investment and geographical coverage. Assistance will be intensified for job seekers facing difficulties.

"While we work to ensure meeting the employment targets for this year, we must pay special attention to supporting businesses in difficulty. Helping market players survive is of great importance in keeping employment stable," Li said, adding that, "We also need to take well-focused steps to increase the number of new market players and create more jobs."

Vocational upgrade training will continue to be promoted. Authorities are required to meet their due responsibilities to encourage flexible employment and create more jobs via multiple means.

"As consumption serves as the primary driving force for growth, and consumer demand is more diversified, the space for flexible employment has increased accordingly. Departments need to introduce support policies for flexible employment," Li said.