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Post-COVID rebound fuels thriving job market

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-02-22 08:41
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At a job fair in Haikou, capital of South China's Hainan province, recruiters pulled out all the stops to win over the thousands of job seekers waiting in long lines.

Some recruiters resorted to creative tactics, such as singing and dancing, to capture the attention of job applicants, with some tourism employers even offering free travel for those who sign with them.

"It's the biggest on-site recruiting session I have ever attended," says Zhang Biao, a recruiter with a tourism investment company registered in the city of Wuzhishan. "We have received a lot of resumes."

Zhang says that, in the past three years, many staff members left the company due to the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector. As the country's economy rebounds following its optimized COVID-19 response, the tourism market in the island province is also making a quick recovery. Now, the company is in dire need of talented individuals to keep its business rolling.

The heightened enthusiasm for recruiting is part of a broader rosy picture of China's economic prospects.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics shows the purchasing managers' index for China's manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors came in at 50.1 and 54.4, respectively, in January. Both figures indicate an expansion in economic activity.

Eyeing the growth prospects, international institutions have improved their predictions for China's economic growth this year. The International Monetary Fund has raised its forecast to reflect a 5.2 percent growth, up from a previous prediction of 4.4 percent.

Authorities have set a 2023 GDP growth target of 9.5 percent for Hainan, which China plans to build into a globally influential and high-level free trade port, or FTP, by the middle of the century.

Naturally, the country's economic recovery is evident in the flourishing job market at the FTP.

"I am job hunting and such job fairs really help me to understand the job vacancies in the Hainan FTP," says He Xiaowen, a Haikou native who studied at a northeast China college. "I am super excited to come back home to Hainan and contribute to the development of the Hainan FTP."

"I could sense the excitement in the job market," says job seeker Chen Jingyi, a graduate from China Agricultural University. "I have sent out many copies of my resume."

To "snatch up" the talent, local authorities in Hainan wasted no time in printing out countless promotional materials for vacant job positions, and sent working staff to job fairs to answer any questions that potential applicants may have.

"We need to be quick if we want to hire new talent," says Zhang Yunhong, an official of Hainan's Dongfang city.

At the job fair in Dongfang alone, 12 local employers received more than 250 resumes on site, while many applicants also registered online.

Since mid-December, Hainan authorities have launched seven job fairs offering more than 30,000 job positions. More than 4,300 people have signed deals.

Official figures showed that Hainan has attracted more than 500,000 workers since 2018. The province aims to recruit a further 800,000 more in the next five years, with a target of 150,000 this year.

"We plan to hold more campus recruiting sessions in cities like Beijing and Jinan," says Zhao Wei, head of the provincial employment bureau. "We will also offer online recruitment throughout the year."

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