Applicants for China’s national public servants’ exam, or guokao, are showing unprecedented interest in certain jobs, but paying little attention to others, according to the State Administration of Civil Service.
The test, along with job preferences, is required for people applying for the more than 27,000 government posts available. The test application period closes on Oct 24.
A vacancy at the Central Committee of the China Democratic League’s reception office attracted a record-breaking 6,233 applications, but more than 400 other bureaus, mostly in poor regions, had received no applications by Oct 22, according to the administration.
A total of 849,328 people passed the first round of screening, meaning that an average of more than 31 candidates will compete for each vacancy, roughly the same number as last year.
The State Administration of Taxation’s nationwide branches seemed to be the most highly desired employer, with its offices in Guangdong, Shandong and Sichuan provinces all attracting more than 29,000 candidates each.
Last year, 2,274 people competed for a vacancy at the China Employment Training Technical Instruction Center, while in 2011 and 2013, most people vied for a position at the State Ethnic Affairs Commission. These jobs tend to have a lower threshold for first-round selection and are located in big cities.
Government posts have long been perceived by Chinese as secure lifelong jobs, with stable pay and good benefits. Hence applicants for such vacancies have been soaring since 1994, when the national selection for government employees was first made public.