China adds 12m new jobs in 2011: minister

Updated: 2011-12-29 14:24


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BEIJING - China took more steps this year to build up its social security net to benefit more people in rural and urban areas while creating more than 12 million new jobs in non-farming sectors, Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said Thursday.

With the addition of those new jobs in cities and towns, China was able to keep its registered urban unemployment rate below the government's full-year target of 4.6 percent this year, Yin said at a national conference on human resources and social security.

Compared with 11.68 million new jobs created in 2010, jobs created this year also exceeded the government's target of 9 million, according to data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS).

"The employment situation has stabilized in our country," Yin said, citing a couple of figures in the job market.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, this year adopted a string of measures, including offering tax breaks, subsidizing vocational training and offering small loan guarantees, to help 5.2 million laid-off workers get back to work.

The government also boosted support to university graduates, who make up a large portion of new labor force each year in a country with a total population of about 1.3 billion.

Aside from the improved employment sector, the country's pension insurance system was extended to cover 300 million people in rural and urban areas by the end of this year, with about 85 million senior citizens claiming their pensions every month, Yin said.

China's social security funds that insure pension, medicare, unemployment benefits, work-related injury compensation and maternity pay collected 2.35 trillion yuan ($372 billion) in revenues this year, up 24.7 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, spending by social security funds will rise 21.5 percent from a year ago to 1.8 trillion yuan this year, according to the MOHRSS data.

Thanks to the extension of the social security net, 468 million urban residents now enjoy medicare insurance, and the number of residents receiving their pension, unemployment benefits, work-related injury compensation and maternity pay insured has reached 280 million, 142 million, 174 million and 138 million, respectively, according to MOHRSS.

China has raised the basic pension standard for retired corporate employees for seven consecutive years, and the per capita monthly pension has hit 1,531 yuan.

Across the country, 24 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities raised their minimum wage standards by an average of 22 percent year-on-year in 2011, Yin said.

Also, labor law enforcement helped 1.29 million migrant workers recover 2.94 billion yuan in defaulted salaries and compensation this year, the minister added.