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China / Society

One million compete for civil service jobs

By Luo Wangshu (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-10-25 16:30

Nearly 2 million people applied to sit the 2016 national civil service exam and 1.31 million were deemed to have qualified for the exam as of Sunday.

The two week long application window closed on Saturday and as of Sunday, 135,000 candidates were still waiting to pass the qualification check.

The State Administration of Civil Service is reviewing applications and will release the number of deemed candidates on Monday.

In 2015, 1.41 million candidates took the exam. The number remains roughly the same this year.

The exam is considered "the State exam", regarded as one of the most competitive tests across the country.

The year's most competitive opening is from the China Employment Training Technical Instruction Center in Beijing, according to Zhonggong Education, an institute that monitors the number of applicants. The center has one opening which attracted 2,847 applicants.

According to Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, 27,817 civil service jobs are being offered this year by central government departments and subsidiaries.

Although some openings could draw thousands of applicants, some attract very few.

Some 158 openings attracted no applicants at all. These were mainly in remote areas with strict requirements on education and previous work experience.

Eighty out of 150 positions are from remote areas in the west of China.

Zhang from Qingdao, who only gave her surname, applied for a job at the taxation department in Liaoning province.

"It is a hard decision since on one hand, my family wants me to find a government job through the exam; on the other hand, I do not want to work in rural areas," she said.

Her family and the girl made compromise. Zhang agreed to apply for a job in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning, a big city and not far from home.

But she has regrets.

"I want to work in Qingdao. All my family and friends are here. But the scores in Shandong were usually very high and the job may be very competitive,"she said, adding that if she fails the exam in November, she will focus on the provincial civil service exam in 2016.

"Or maybe find another job in Qingdao though it may upset my parents," she said.

Public jobs are attractive to Chinese youth but may lose their appeal due to the non-competitive salary and extra hours.

A report issued by recruitment website Zhaopin in late March said more than 10,000 public sector employees, including civil servants and staff members at public institutions, had submitted resumes to potential employers in just two months. The number was 34 percent higher during the same period last year, the report said.

A Beijing civil servant surnamed Peng, who received about 4,000 yuan a month after tax, said that is far from enough to live on in the capital.

Our monthly house loan is about 7,000 yuan and my husband pays the majority of the household expenses.

"As a programmer in a private company, he earns four times more than me. I only spend my salary as pocket money," the 30-year-old said, adding that many of her colleagues had quit because of low salaries.