Thirteen of last year’s 34 State Council executive meetings approved moves to boost employment, improve education and healthcare services, and undertake shantytown renovation work.
Four of the meetings, presided over by Premier Li Keqiang, were devoted to employment policies, addressing job creation and ensuring steady rises in employment.
In January, the 13th Five-Year Plan on Promoting Employment (2016-20) was approved by an executive meeting with the aim of creating more jobs and improving the quality of the labor force.
On April 5, the State Council decided to boost employment prospects for key groups, including migrant workers, graduates, returnees and those affected by the reduction of outdated production capacity.
In the first eight months of last year, more than 10 million jobs were created for urban residents, while an executive meeting in September approved preferential policies to help key groups, including funds to boost startups.
As a result, 11.9 million jobs were created in urban areas between January and October, beating the target of 11 million Li pledged in the Government Work Report.
The Premier also frequently reiterated the importance the government attaches to employment as a vital way of improving people’s lives.
The Government Work Report also pledged the renovation of shantytown homes.
By Dec 20, work had started on more than 6 million shantytown apartments, with investment of 1.84 trillion yuan ($278 billion), according to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development.
The reform of public hospitals and direct settlement of medical reimbursements were discussed at an executive meeting on Oct 9, and earning commission from the sale of medicines is now banned in public hospitals.
The Premier also announced the cancelation of roaming charges paid to telecommunication companies.
Employment is a key priority, and the Premier has noted that a steady income is the best way of improving people’s livelihoods, said Jia Xijin, associate professor of public management at Tsinghua University.
The executive meetings aimed to fulfill targets outlined in the Government Work Report to reduce costs and improve people’s sense of improvement, especially in areas such as healthcare, education and jobs, she added.