Premier Li Keqiang vowed on May 6 that the government will provide opportunities for steady employment to college graduates and migrant workers, even though the country is undergoing economic restructuring.
The premier made the remark while visiting the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security as part of efforts to review the nation’s employment situation.
Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said 4.43 million people found jobs in urban areas from January to April, accounting for 44.3 percent of this year’s target set in March.
Yin also said the registered urban unemployment rate was 4.04 percent by the end of March — lower than the maximum 4.5 percent annual rate set forth by Premier Li in the Government Work Report in March.
The Premier said employment opportunities must focus on key groups — college graduates and migrant workers — by helping them with training and other supportive policies.
Premier Li said migrant workers are the most vulnerable group during economic restructuring.
“Channels have to be broadened to boost employment for migrant workers and increase their income,” the Premier told officials during a meeting on employment at the ministry.
“In this way, their lives can be improved and the new type of urbanization can proceed together with agricultural modernization.”
A record 7.65 million college students and about 5 million vocational school students will graduate this year, so more than 12 million young people will need to find jobs.
Premier Li said many traditional industries have a limited capacity to provide new jobs. “So we have to create more jobs for young people by cultivating new economies, new technologies and new business models, as the national economy restructures,” the Premier said.
Zheng Dongliang, director of the ministry’s Work Science Research Institute, said, “The Premier’s visit underscores the importance the central government has attached to employment.”
Migrant workers should learn new skills to work in the service sector or start their own businesses in their hometowns, Zheng said.
He suggested that the government work out more favorable policies to create job opportunities in small cities or townships, where migrant workers can settle down with affordable housing and education for their children.
Zheng also said universities should provide students with proper training that caters to market demands and should also find more ways to help graduates.