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China aims to produce 50m new jobs by 2020

By Wang Yanfei | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-07 07:27

China aims to produce 50m new jobs by 2020

College students attend a job fair in Beijing on Monday. There are expected to be nearly 8 million new graduates in China this year.[Zou Hong/China Daily]

Retirement is estimated to create up to 4.8 million vacancies per year

China will provide preferential policies and job training programs to targeted groups in order to hit a goal of producing 50 million new jobs by the end of 2020.

As part of efforts to keep the unemployment rate below 5 percent each year, the government will help targeted groups land jobs, especially college graduates and workers laid off due to overcapacity, according to guidelines released by the State Council on Monday.

Preferential policies for graduates include tax cuts and tuition fee reductions, if they are willing to work in distant rural areas.

The central government will launch special programs to help resource-intensive areas to relocate laid-off workers, according to the guidelines.

China will lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Producing 50 million new jobs is not an easy task amid economic downward pressure and Beijing's strong commitment to cutting overcapacity, according to a senior official with the National Development and Reform Commission's Employment Department, who declined to be named because he is not authorized to speak publicly.

A total of 7.95 million new college graduates and 1 million laid-off workers in industries with overcapacity generated each year "are key challenges" to achieving the goal as new job opportunities are hardly plentiful, according to the official.

An estimated 4.8 million job openings will be created by retirement each year during the 13th Five-Year Plan period (2016-20).

"Although there are no easy answers to filling the gap, there should be hopes in new emerging industries," said the official, adding that local governments need to help the young adapt to industrial transformation.

A report released by Boston Consulting Group in January shows that by the end of 2035, China's digital economy will reach about $16 trillion, with a total employment capacity of 415 million, almost double that of 2020.

That means job candidates need to improve specialized skills, with strong capabilities in interpersonal communications, creativity, flexibility and fast learning, the report said.

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