Govt ap­pli­cants seek some jobs, spurn oth­ers

Less-de­vel­oped ar­eas at­tract lit­tle in­ter­est as ben­e­fits, op­por­tu­ni­ties lag be­hind big cities

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By CHENMENGWEI chenmengwei@chi­

Ap­pli­cants for China’s na­tional pub­lic ser­vants’ exam, or guokao, are show­ing un­prece­dented in­ter­est in cer­tain jobs, but pay­ing lit­tle at­ten­tion to oth­ers, ac­cord­ing to the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Civil Ser­vice.

The test, along with job pref­er­ences, is re­quired for peo­ple ap­ply­ing for the more than 27,000 gov­ern­ment posts avail­able. The test ap­pli­ca­tion pe­riod closes on Mon­day.

A va­cancy at the Cen­tral Com­mit­tee of the China Demo­cratic League’s re­cep­tion of­fice at­tracted a record-break­ing 6,233 ap­pli­ca­tions, but more than 400 other bu­reaus, mostly in poor re­gions, had re­ceived no ap­pli­ca­tions by Satur­day, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Ato­tal of 849,328 peo­ple passed the first round of screen­ing, mean­ing that an av­er­age of more than 31 can­di­dates will com­pete for each va­cancy, roughly the same num­ber as last year.

The State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Tax­a­tion’s na­tion­wide branches seemed to be the most highly de­sired em­ployer, with its of­fices in Guang­dong, Shan­dong and Sichuan prov­inces all at­tract­ing more than 29,000 can­di­dates each.

Last year, 2,274 peo­ple com­peted for a va­cancy at the China Em­ploy­ment Train­ing Tech­ni­cal In­struc­tion Cen­ter, while in 2011 and 2013, most peo­ple vied for a po­si­tion at the State Ethnic Af­fairs Com­mis­sion. These jobs tend to have a lower thresh­old for first-round se­lec­tion and are lo­cated in big cities.

Zhu Li­jia, a pro­fes­sor of pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Chi­nese Academy of Gov­er­nance, said the po­lar­iza­tion of ap­pli­cants’ choices has ex­isted for the past seven or eight years.

“When peo­ple make choices, they tend to go with the prin­ci­ple of eco­nom­ics. They want their gains max­i­mized,” Zhu said. “It is nat­u­ral for them to choose jobs with bet­ter ben­e­fits, more op­por­tu­ni­ties for de­vel­op­ment and good lo­ca­tions.”

Less-de­vel­oped ar­eas con­tinue to strug­gle to at­tract work­ers. For ex­am­ple, Ho­hhot Rail­way Pub­lic Se­cu­rity Bureau in the In­ner Mon­go­lia au­ton­o­mous re­gion is look­ing to hire 12 new work­ers, but by Satur­day had not re­ceived a sin­gle ap­pli­ca­tion. The State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of Civil Ser­vice even is­sued a pub­lic an­nounce­ment on­line to draw peo­ple’s at­ten­tion to the ne­glected va­can­cies.

Zhu ex­pects the pat­tern to con­tinue, de­spite the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s at­tempts to drive more tal­ent to ru­ral and poor ar­eas.

“It mat­ters lit­tle what the gov­ern­ment says,” Zhu said. “If the pay and ben­e­fits are not sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved in poor re­gions, lit­tle will change.”

Last year, only one out of 33 par­tic­i­pants man­aged to se­cure a gov­ern­ment post, while the en­roll­ment rate for the na­tional col­lege en­trance ex­am­i­na­tion, or gaokao, has sur­passed 70 per­cent every year since 2011, ac­cord­ing to pub­lic records.

Gov­ern­ment posts have long been per­ceived by Chi­nese as se­cure life­long jobs, with sta­ble pay and good ben­e­fits. Hence ap­pli­cants for such va­can­cies have been soar­ing since 1994, when the na­tional se­lec­tion for gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees was first made pub­lic.

How­ever, some po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants have said that the cen­tral gov­ern­ment’s anti-graft cam­paign launched in 2013 to fight cor­rup­tion and ex­trav­a­gance, in­clud­ing the “eight-point rules” to cut bu­reau­cracy, has put them off.

had passed the first round of screen­ing as of Satur­day.

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