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China sees record applicants for national civil service exams

By Hou Liqiang | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-11-10 21:44

Approximately 1.6 million applicants are qualified to take this year's national civil service exam, up by more than 10 percent year-on-year, reflecting a growing interest in working for the government.

Applications for the test closed Wednesday and the qualification examination was completed Friday.

Applicants are competing for more than 28,500 available government posts, which is also a record high for job openings. Should all qualified applicants sit for the exam Dec 10, 58 candidates will compete for one vacancy, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

But it's common that some applicants don't show up for the exam. Last year, about 984,000 people took the exam, although about 1.48 million qualified candidates registered.

Since launching the annual exam in 1994, the competition for civil service jobs has always been fierce, as they have long been perceived as secure, lifelong jobs with stable pay.

Only one out of every 36 candidates who took the exam was hired last year, and in 2015 only one out of 33.

The vacancies offered by central government agencies increased from around 20,000 in 2013 and 2014 to more than 22,000 in 2015 and then to more than 27,800 last year.

According to the State Administration of Civil Service, many central government civil servants are retiring, leading to the continued increase in recruitment.

More than 80 percent of the jobs this year are at the local branches of central government agencies at and below the county level.

Those applying for openings at government agencies above the provincial level need to have two years of grassroots work experience. About 15 percent of the vacancies at branches in central government agencies at and below prefecture level will be set aside for university graduates who became village officials or those who volunteered to serve at grassroots levels, according to the ministry.

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