China / Society

Jobs growing, but applicants are lagging

By Su Zhou (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-25 08:11
Sharing economy, e-commerce are expected to generate vacancies for surplus workers

Job opportunities grew during the second quarter in the central and western part of China and in third-tier cities, thanks to e-commerce and the sharing economy.

Chinese job recruitment website Zhaopin and the China Institute for Employment Research jointly released their second quarter employment report recently. The report showed that first-tier cities, as well as the country's eastern region generally, continued to generate the majority of new job opportunities. Eastern China generated 73 percent of them.

Yet the employment situation in the less-developed middle and western regions of China had improved, compared with the same period last year. New jobs in Central China grew at the fastest rate, reaching 29 percent of the total. Western China was next, with 23 percent.

Third-tier cities and other less-developed areas, despite having relatively low numbers, saw 27 percent growth in new job openings compared with same period last year.

Zeng Xiangquan, director of the China Institute for Employment Research, said the overall employment situation in the second quarter had improved from the first quarter. The index-the proportion of job vacancies for each job seeker-increased from 1.71 to 1.93.

"In the second half of the year, we could still see a drop in the index. The competition in job market could become fiercer," said Zeng. "However, the overall picture is stabilizing."

Guo Sheng, CEO of Zhaopin, said the biggest problem underlying the job pressure in China is the mismatch between employers and job seekers.

"The reasons behind the mismatch are complicated," Guo said. "We see job opportunities cluster in regions that are not provinces with large populations. Labor mobility is not enough to meet this demand. Besides, many job seekers continue to look for opportunities in traditional industries that are cutting positions."

For example, in the internet industry about 11 job vacancies had only one applicant, while in the mining industry, about 100 job seekers competed for 24 jobs.

One solution to the structural unbalance is the sharing economy and e-commerce, Guo said.

According to Didi Dache, the car-hailing platform, it has provided 3.89 million job opportunities in 17 provinces that are cutting industrial overcapacity and jobs.

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said an estimated 1.8 million employees in the iron and coal industry will be laid off in the process of reducing excess industrial capacity in China.

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