China to boost employment with multi-pronged measures
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 Friday.
Premier Li Keqiang has underlined that employment is crucial to keeping economic fundamentals stable. It is important to implement the employment-first strategy and expand channels for employment.
"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. "That said, we must recognize the challenges in the employment prospect. The unemployment rate of certain groups of populations and regions remains high. Those employed have seen their income shrunk."
The Friday meeting underlined that creating sufficient jobs is essential for securing overall economic performance. Since the start of this year, local governments and competent departments have put job creation on the top of their work agenda and implemented strong measures to support employment, and the surveyed urban unemployment rate has dropped steadily from its February peak.
Greater efforts are needed to support market entities and create jobs. The policies to help troubled companies and support employment and business start-ups must be well implemented. The measures to relieve business burden, secure jobs and expand employment need to be fine-tuned to better benefit micro, small and medium-sized businesses and industries that are particularly hard-hit and recovering at a slower pace.
"In the first half of this year, we focused on helping businesses to keep their payrolls stable. Starting from now, our focus shall 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," Li said. "We must place great importance on the employment of college graduates this year. We need to expand employment channels for key groups of people, to further tap the potential of employment."
Support for key groups of job-seekers needs to be prioritized. College graduates will receive support for employment and business start-up, with skills training provided to make them better prepared for jobs, and market resources leveraged to create more job opportunities. Employment services will also be offered to college graduates who have yet to find jobs to support their transition from campus to career.
The meeting said 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 investment sectors and geographical coverage. Employment aid will be intensified for job-seekers in difficulty.
"While we work to ensure we meet the employment targets and tasks for this year, we must pay special attention to supporting businesses in difficulty. Helping the market players to survive is of great importance in keeping employment stable," Li said, "we also need to take well-focused steps to increase the number of new market players and create more jobs."
The employment potential will be further unlocked. Vocational skills will continue to be promoted. Competent 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," Li stressed. "Competent departments need to introduce support policies for flexible employment."