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Massive unemployment not in store for China: Premier

Updated: Mar 15,2017 3:44 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will not see nor allow massive unemployment of particular groups this year as the government is capable of ensuring job creation, Premier Li Keqiang said on March 15.

Speaking at a news conference after the conclusion of the annual legislative session, Premier Li voiced confidence that China would be able to create jobs through opportunities offered by new growth impetus, entrepreneurship and innovation activities.

The Premier admitted that the country, which has successfully created over 13 million new urban jobs annually for four consecutive years, does face significant pressure from job creation this year, and underscored that ensuring employment was of paramount significance to a country of 1.3 billion population.

The government has set a higher employment target of 11 million new urban jobs this year, one million more than last year’s target.

Premier Li said that some 7.95 million students will graduate from Chinese universities and collages and some 5 million from secondary vocational schools.

He drew particular attention to laid-off workers resulting from efforts to address overcapacity, which could near 1 million this year, as the process moves from the sectors of coal and steel to thermal power.

The Premier encouraged workers who lose their jobs due to overcapacity cuts to explore the opportunities in emerging sectors.

The government helped some 720,000 laid-off workers find new jobs last year, the Premier said.

“The government’s job is to create a good environment and the necessary conditions for people to use their own wisdom and hard work to generate golden opportunities for themselves,” Premier Li said.

He also promised government assistance to help meet the basic needs of those struggling to find work.

A total of 100 billion yuan (about $14.5 billion) of special funds have been allocated from the central fiscal to assist the resettlement of those laid-off workers, according to Premier Li.