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China sees growth in employment, structure upgrading

Updated: Oct 26,2016 11:49 AM

Despite the complex international economic environment and a mounting downward pressure on its economy, China’s employment situation remains stable over the year, creating 10.67 million new jobs in the first nine months of 2016 and fulfilling the annual target of 10 million ahead of schedule.

In addition to growth in the new urban employment rate, employment structure is also being upgraded, reflected in the numbers, where employment in the tertiary industry surpassed the primary industry for the first time since 2011.

In particular, in the first eight months of the year, employment numbers in the five sectors of tourism, culture, sports, health and elderly care of the tertiary industry saw a year-on-year increase of 2.5 percent, compared with the 1.9 percent decrease in people employed at scaled enterprises of the secondary industry.

At the beginning of this year, opinions said that employment positions could be slashed if some small and medium-sized enterprises closed amid the economic slowdown. Some even anticipated that the reduction of excess production capacity could result in unemployment of several million people.

But steady growth in employment, especially with the expansion of the tertiary industry and the emergence of new employment formats such as shared economy, is sufficient to refute those opinions.

Zheng Dongliang, dean of the Institute for Labor Science Studies under the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said China’s tertiary industry still has room for development, and he believes the numbers employed by the tertiary industry will climb to over 50 percent among the three main industries.

Meanwhile, the boom in mass entrepreneurship and innovation also is contributing to China’s employment. In the first three quarters, new registered enterprises reached 12.11 million, a year-on-year increase of 13.7 percent.

Experts said efforts should be made to maintain stable growth in the real economy, and strengthen cooperation in fiscal, taxation, finance, industry, investment and other policies to ensure the total number of employment positions, as well as promote employment transformation to reduce the risk of structural unemployment.