Shanghai sets 500,000 new jobs target for 2005
Shanghai vowed yesterday to create 500,000 jobs this year, a fifth of which will see local farmers relocated in a bid to improve living standards, according to Jiao Yang, spokeswoman for the Shanghai municipal government.
Job creation is one of the city's top 10 tasks of the year.
In 2004, 640,000 jobs were created especially for those really in need such as laid-off workers and the numerous surplus rural workforce.
"When deciding the tasks this year, the municipality focuses on urgent issues that people are mostly concerned about, especially in terms of administration of the city, work safety and so on," she said.
Jiao said the government and society are both responsible for creating an environment in which the jobless are looked after and encouraged to find jobs.
Though local farmers in this area are in fact the best off among their peers across the country, with disposable incomes of 7,337 yuan (US$887) per capita last year, rural households living off their land alone are in need of more help.
"The government will thus give them more financial support by lending them money to help them start small businesses, or help them take non-farming jobs so that they can make a better living," Jiao said.
Shanghai will also launch a three-year plan to offer vocational training to farmers in sectors like the building trade.
In 2005, 50,000 farmers will be able to sign up for some of the training.
Senior citizens are another sector of the population that the government is focusing on in the new year.
They are to be given priority in hospital queues and given discounts in parks and other venues.
The government will also provide door-to-door services to the 160,000 senior citizens who live alone and the 30,000 senior citizens with special needs.
Shanghai will also add 6,000 beds to its existing 40,000 in resthomes.
Shanghai will also set up more neighbourhood advice centres to help locals handle medical insurance issues. Twenty-four rural hospitals will be reorganized to standardize their practices.
The city will open more bus lanes and set up a traffic guidance system on downtown viaducts to ease road congestion.
The city will build 3 million square metres of apartments this year.
Forty old residential complexes will be renovated.
Jiao also said the city's tasks include other issues such as setting up regulated vegetable markets, and monitoring major polluting enterprises online.
Shanghai will also organize training and exercise for up to 10,000 disabled people to improve their lifestyles and help them adapt to society better.