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China expecting serious employment pressure this year

Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, speaks at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People's Congress annual session in Beijing, March 10, 2015. (Photo courtesy/China Daily)
Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, speaks at a press conference on the sidelines of the National People’s Congress annual session in Beijing, March 10, 2015. (Photo courtesy/China Daily)

(TibetanReview.net, Mar12, 2015) – China could face greater social turbulence this year with a government minister saying Mar 10 that the country’s employment market could come under greater pressure as it faced a record number of college graduates while economic growth was expected to hit a 25-year low.

Urban employment fell by a large margin year-on-year in January and February, the official chinadaily.com.cn Mar 11 cited Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, as saying at a news briefing on the sidelines of the ongoing National People’s Congress annual session.

He has said about 15 million young people were expected to enter the labour market this year, including an estimated record number of 7.49 million college graduates. “The large numbers in the new workforce will pose immense pressure (on the labor market) and there is also an acute structural imbalance,” Yin has added.

He has expressed confidence, however, that 10 million new jobs can be created this year, as promised by Premier Li Keqiang in his annual Government Work Report to lawmakers at the opening of their annual plenary session on Mar 5.

A lower growth target of “about 7 percent” was also announced, compared to 7.4 percent last year, itself the lowest since 1990.

Nevertheless, the report cited Chen Yu, vice-president of the China Association for Employment Promotion, as saying an economic growth of 7 percent would still be adequate to ensure the creation of 10 million jobs.

The country’s pension fund was also reported to faces “tremendous challenges” to break even and Yin has said the central government will announce a plan in 2017, to be implemented five years later, to increase the retirement age gradually in an attempt to address this problem.

Yin has said the dependency ratio — the ratio of those not in the labor force to those typically in work, was expected to change from the current 3.04-to-1 (3.04 workers supporting one retiree) to 1.3-to-1 in 2050.

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