Civil ser­vice jobs in less de­mand

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By AN BAIJIE an­bai­jie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

The num­ber of ap­pli­cants for civil ser­vice jobs has dropped in most places so far this year, ac­cord­ing to in­for­ma­tion re­leased by provin­cial-level gov­ern­ments.

Six­teen of the 18 prov­inces, mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and au­ton­o­mous re­gions that re­leased em­ploy­ment in­for­ma­tion on Thurs­day saw a de­crease in ap­pli­cants year-on-year.

The num­ber of ap­pli­cants in Zhe­jiang prov­ince was down 37 per­cent from 360,000 last year to 227,000 this year, ac­cord­ing to the hu­man re­sources and so­cial se­cu­rity depart­ment.

Most other prov­inces saw a de­crease of be­tween 10 and 30 per­cent this year, the Bei­jing News re­ported.

Only Shaanxi prov­ince and the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion have seen in­creases in the num­ber of ap­pli­cants this year.

Mean­while, 15 provin­cial­level gov­ern­ments have cut the num­ber of civil ser­vice po­si­tions avail­able. The num­ber of posts in Zhe­jiang prov­ince, for ex­am­ple, is about 1,500 less than last year.

Civil ser­vice jobs have long been deemed ideal for many col­lege grad­u­ates. The cen­tral au­thor­i­ties, provin­cial-level gov­ern­ments and city gov­ern­ments re­spec­tively re­cruit civil ser­vants once a year.

In 2013, for ex­am­ple, 1.52 mil­lion grad­u­ates took the na­tional civil ser­vice exam. On aver­age, about 77 ap­pli­cants com­peted for each avail­able po­si­tion. The most de­sir­able posts saw a com­pet­i­tive ra­tio of 7,192 to 1.

Gu Ruo­cun, a grad­u­ate from Shan­dong Nor­mal Univer­sity who works for a pri­vate com­pany, said that more than half of his class­mates ap­plied for po­si­tions in the provin­cial govern­ment last year.

“In my opin­ion, civil ser­vice is a de­cent job with de­cent pay,” he said, adding that he is pre­par­ing for this year’s ap­pli­ca­tion exam af­ter fail­ing a year ago.

Xu Yao­tong, a pro­fes­sor of pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance, said that the cen­tral govern­ment has be­gun re­forms to stream­line pub­lic agencies. Lo­cal gov­ern­ments will tend to fol­low suit to de­crease the num­ber of new civil posts, Xu said.

The de­crease in ap­pli­cants this year shows that the pub­lic has been chang­ing its at­ti­tude to­ward such jobs, he said, adding that it is good news that more young people want to work out­side of the govern­ment.

Gao Wen­shu, a pro­fes­sor of hu­man re­sources at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said that the cur­rent eval­u­a­tion sys­tem for govern­ment work­ers should be im­proved. Many grass­roots civil ser­vants have been work­ing very hard for low pay, Gao said.

Pre­mier Li Ke­qiang pledged in March last year that the govern­ment’s size would not grow, as the on­go­ing round of in­sti­tu­tional re­struc­tur­ing aims at stream­lin­ing govern­ment func­tions and de­cen­tral­iz­ing power over the mar­ket and so­ci­ety.

“Once you are de­voted to pub­lic ser­vice, you have to aban­don the idea of be­com­ing rich,” Li warned of­fi­cials at his first news con­fer­ence as China’s pre­mier.

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