Pres­sure for jobs will rise: of­fi­cial

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By XU WEI in Be­jing xuwei@chi­

China’s em­ploy­ment mar­ket could come un­der greater pres­sure this year as the coun­try faces a record num­ber of col­lege grad­u­ates and is ex­pect­ing eco­nomic growth to hit a 25-year low, a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter said on Tues­day.

Ur­ban em­ploy­ment fell by a large mar­gin year-onyear in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary, Yin Weimin, min­is­ter of hu­man re­sources and so­cial se­cu­rity, said at a news brief­ing on the side­lines of the on­go­ing Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress an­nual ses­sion. an­other 10 mil­lion jobs will be cre­ated this year.

A lower growth tar­get of “about 7 per­cent” was also an­nounced. The econ­omy ex­panded by 7.4 per­cent last year, the low­est pace since 1990.

Yin said he is con­fi­dent that 10 mil­lion new jobs can be cre­ated this year, as au­thor­i­ties will con­tinue to push for­ward poli­cies to en­sure em­ploy­ment for col­lege grad­u­ates and to en­cour­age new ven­tures.

Chen Yu, vice-pres­i­dent of the China As­so­ci­a­tion for Em­ploy­ment Pro­mo­tion, said the key to en­sur­ing that a large num­ber of new jobs are cre­ated still lies in eco­nomic growth, es­pe­cially in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity in the econ­omy and the devel­op­ment of small and medium-sized en­ter­prises.

“Th­ese en­ter­prises play a vi­tal role in en­sur­ing em­ploy­ment growth, as they take up a ma­jor share of the la­bor mar­ket,” he said.

Chen said eco­nomic growth of 7 per­cent is still ad­e­quate to en­sure the cre­ation of 10 mil­lion jobs.

Yin also said the cen­tral gov­ern­ment will an­nounce a plan in 2017 to in­crease the re­tire­ment age grad­u­ally, as the coun­try’s pen­sion fund faces “tremen­dous chal­lenges” to break even.

Draf ting of the new re­tire­ment pro­gram will be com­pleted by the end of this year and de­tails will be re­leased next year for public opin­ion to be sought, he said.

Yin said the new re­tire­ment age will be im­ple­mented five years af­ter the plan is adopted, to give peo­ple suf­fi­cient time to pre­pare.

For now, the pen­sion fund can still sup­port those who have re­tired, but he warned that chal­lenges could be loom­ing.

The de­pen­dency ra­tio — the ra­tio of those not in the la­bor force to those typ­i­cally in work, is ex­pected to change from the cur­rent 3.04-to-1 (3.04 work­ers sup­port­ing one re­tiree) to 1.3to-1 in 2050, Yin said.

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