China will take targeted measures to further boost employment, the State Council’s executive meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang decided on Nov 2.
The Chinese government places high importance on promoting employment. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, employment is pivotal to people’s well-being, and it is important to pursue a proactive employment policy, striving to achieve fuller employment and create better-quality jobs. Premier Li Keqiang has also chaired meetings on many occasions to make plans for stimulating job growth. He stressed that employment is a barometer for the overall economy and an anchor of stability in the larger society, and the goal of stable employment must be placed higher on the government agenda.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, 11.07 million new urban jobs were created in the first nine months, 100,000 more than in the same period of last year. Surveyed urban unemployment rate stood at 4.9 percent in September, down by 0.1 percentage point year-on-year.
Employment momentum has remained steady this year, and the number of urban jobs created in the first three quarters has surpassed the government’s target for the whole year, the meeting pointed out. Yet with a complex environment at home and abroad, the country still faces considerable pressure in employment and will continue to give priority to creating jobs and implement a more proactive employment policy.
“Employment creation is the primary mission of economic development and a fundamental livelihood issue for the people,” Premier Li said. “As we are still expected to face considerable employment pressure in the coming year, we must prepare ourselves well and take precautionary measures as much as possible, which may include giving local governments and businesses more flexibility in employment policies.”
The meeting decided on a number of incentives to continue boosting employment.
Companies who endeavor to minimize layoffs will be eligible to have 50 percent of their unemployment insurance expenses reimbursed in the form of reduced fees.
More support will be given to business start-ups as a way to boost employment, including through channels such as government guaranteed financing. Private businesses and medium, small and micro businesses are major job providers, which should be prioritized in the enactment of various employment policy incentives, the meeting urged.
From Jan 1 next year, eligible groups for internship subsidies will be expanded from college graduates yet to land jobs to youths aged 16 to 24. People who are unemployed will be encouraged to take part in various skills training programs, and those who successfully graduate from the programs will receive training subsidies.
Needy jobless people will be given allowances or relief on a temporary basis, or be covered by the subsistence allowance scheme.
In an effort to reduce corporate burdens and expand employment, it was also decided at the meeting that the current policy of reducing the combined unemployment insurance contribution rate from 3 to 1 percent will continue beyond its previous deadline of next April.
The meeting called on governments at all levels to take innovative steps in light of local conditions and take multi-pronged measures to deliver stable employment.