While China is limping back to normalcy after the coronavirus outbreak, job prospects seem to be bleak especially for the students who are due to graduate in June. According to a media agency, the Chinese leadership has been fearing that the graduates will enter the workforce as prospective employers mull lays-off or hiring freezes. The leaders are most worried about unemployment.
According to reports, back in February, the urban jobless rate jumped to 6.2 per cent, which is the highest ever. However, it fell to 5.9 per cent in March as businesses reopened after the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. The Economist Intelligence Unit further predicted that urban unemployment could reach 10 per cent this year.
The Chinese leaders have reportedly described the problem of graduate unemployment as a matter of ‘paramount importance’. The universities in the country have also been holding meetings in a bid to discuss how to ensure that as many as possible find jobs. While the jobless migrants are making the Chinese leaders anxious, threats involving better-educated people with urban roots are stressing them more.
While big firms have been among that hardest-hit by the pandemic, companies which normally begin hiring from campuses after the spring holidays have also not hired this year. The pandemic has affected the companies as several firms have cut hiring this year. According to a report published by Peking University’s Guanghua School of Management and Zhaopin, there is a 30 per cent fewer opening in the first quarter compared with last year.
The competition for graduate jobs has also grown from fierce to cut-throat in recent years. While companies are scrambling, the Chinese leaders have reportedly promised more openings in the civil service as well as in the army. As per reports, they have also directed state-owned businesses to boost their recruitment of new graduates. While an oil giant has promised to hire 3,500, other state-owned firms are also taking on record numbers.
The Chinese government is also making sure that graduates from Hubei province, where the outbreak started, are given first preferences. The government has reportedly urged to stop discriminating against the residents of such provinces as they are often treated with suspicion because of their reputation as a COVID-19 disaster zone.