Grad­u­ates in Beijing face tough test to land jobs as the cap­i­tal caps pop­u­la­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By XIN­HUA

Cao Ran, a post­grad­u­ate stu­dent in Beijing, is one of the most in­tel­lec­tual students in his class, but his high scores are not get­ting him a job offer. Cao grad­u­ates next sum­mer, and in the past few months, he has been busy look­ing for jobs.

“I have been hand­ing out my re­sume at job fairs since July when the se­mes­ter started, but four months have passed and I have not re­ceived a sin­gle in­ter­view offer,” he said. “There are just not enough po­si­tions this year. Fewer com­pa­nies are hir­ing com­pared with last year.”

Cao ma­jored in chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing at China Univer­sity of Pe­tro­leum.

“I thought I was good, but there are many Chi­nese grad­u­ates from abroad who are also look­ing for jobs in Beijing. Com­pe­ti­tion is unimag­in­able,” he said.

Across the coun­try, as the job-hunt­ing sea­son starts, pres­sure has been mount­ing for new grad­u­ates, as the tepid econ­omy has seen com­pa­nies slash po­si­tions.

Li Hu, who stud­ied pub­lic man­age­ment at Ren­min Univer­sity of China, has found a job at a train­ing firm.

“The salary is fine, given the econ­omy, but there is no hukou, house­hold regis­tra­tion, which means I can­not buy an apart­ment here and, in the fu­ture, my chil­dren can­not go to school here. So I am still look­ing for bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties, be­cause I want to set­tle here,” he said.

Un­like Li, many grad­u­ates choose to leave Beijing and look for jobs else­where.

Start­ing this year, Beijing has been cap­ping its pop­u­la­tion as it pushes for­ward the Beijing-Tian­jin-He­bei re­gional in­te­gra­tion pro­gram. The cap­i­tal has been mov­ing out la­bor-in­ten­sive and pol­lut­ing in­dus­tries such as real-es­tate con­struc­tion, steel, coal and me­chan­ics.

“Years ago, at least 60 per­cent of our grad­u­ates had their first jobs in Beijing, but the per­cent­age is less than half now,” said Lyu Yuan of Pek­ing Univer­sity’s em­ploy­ment cen­ter.

“The out­flow of grad­u­ates has been more vol­un­tary in re­cent years, as students evade a high-cost, high-pres­sure life­style in Beijing. Mean­while, we are also ad­vis­ing and as­sist­ing students to seek jobs in other cities,” Lyu said.

This year, there were 7.65 mil­lion new col­lege grad­u­ates in China. Only about 80 per­cent of them found jobs im­me­di­ately af­ter grad­u­at­ing. Fig­ures from the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion show there will be more than 7.95 mil­lion grad­u­ates next year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Hu­man Re­sources and So­cial Se­cu­rity, about 15 mil­lion young peo­ple will join the ur­ban la­bor force each year be­tween this year and 2020. Col­lege grad­u­ates rep­re­sent a ma­jor­ity of the new job hun­ters.

Chi­nese face a con­found­ing mis­match of la­bor over­sup­ply and struc­tural short­ages. Skilled work­ers are in short sup­ply, while gen­eral la­bor forces are at a sur­plus.

Yao Xian­guo, di­rec­tor of the pub­lic pol­icy in­sti­tute at Zhe­jiang Univer­sity, said more jobs will be cre­ated as China steps up in­dus­trial up­grad­ing and changes its de­vel­op­ment.

WANG ZHUANGFEI / CHINA DAILY

Students wait in line for in­ter­views at a job fair in Beijing this month. There will be more than 7.95 mil­lion grad­u­ates next year, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion.

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