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China continues to put jobs first in economic restructuring

Updated: Feb 16,2018 10:22 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China will continue to prioritize job creation when seeking economic transformation toward high-quality development in 2018, according to an official with the National Development and Reform Commission.

Job pressure remains strong this year as some 8.2 million college graduates are expected to enter the job market while 9.7 million unemployed people and redundant workers need to find jobs, NDRC spokesperson Meng Wei was cited as saying in the Economic Information Daily.

She said that China’s efforts to secure a steady economic growth were to ensure job supply.

China will boost strategic emerging industries to create new growth points for employment this year, reduce regional development gap, revitalize rural life and adopt a more proactive employment policy.

Vocational education reform will be deepened to train more technical personnel and persons with special skills.

Migrant rural workers will be encouraged to start their own business as the commission was in talk with policy banks to give them stronger financial backing.

To inspire entrepreneurship, efforts will be made to further optimize the country’s business environment.

Given that economic restructuring often hurts employment, China has paid particular attention to job creation when restructuring its economy, including when shutting down factories and steel plants with excess capacity.

Meng said the commission had started a program to study the connection among economic growth, unemployment rates and salary growth.

In the future, new measures will be released to improve employment quality and the standard of living.

By the end of 2017, China’s unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 3.9 percent, the lowest since 2002.

From 2013 to 2017, more than 13 million jobs were created each year in urban areas, despite the negative effect of economic restructuring and slowing growth.

In 2017, 13.51 million new jobs were created in urban areas, overshooting the official target of 11 million.

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