Page Nav


Gradient Skin



Responsive Ad

Record numbers of Chinese grads enter the worst employment market in decades, according to analysis

Image: Reuters Berita 24 English - Jenny Bai was one of ten outstanding computer science students from several Chinese institutions who wer...

Image: Reuters

Berita 24 English - Jenny Bai was one of ten outstanding computer science students from several Chinese institutions who were chosen for a position by a Beijing-based online company after four rounds of taxing interviews.

However, the business informed the students last month that their contract offers had been withdrawn because of COVID-19 challenges and the wider economic downturn, which would affect a record 10.8 million Chinese university graduates this summer.

Bai, who graduated this month and chose not to mention the company to maintain good relations, said, "I'm frightened." "I'm not sure what I'll do if I can't get a job."

The COVID restrictions in China have hurt a nation whose economy was already contracting because of the collapse of the real estate market, geopolitical tensions, and regulatory crackdowns on the tech, education, and other sectors.

At a time when young unemployment is already more than three times China's overall unemployment rate, at a record 18.4%, a cohort of graduates larger than the entire population of Portugal is poised to join one of China's worst job markets in decades.

The effects of such high youth unemployment on Chinese society are not predetermined.

In a year when President Xi Jinping is anticipated to win a record-breaking third term as leader, it is difficult for China's stability-obsessed Communist Party that educated young people are struggling to find work. This is contrary to what they have come to expect following decades of breakneck growth.

According to Michael Pettis, a professor of finance at Peking University, "the social compact between the government and the public was you remain out of politics and we would promise that you'll perform better than last year."

"So the question is, what else has to change once that assurance falls apart?"


According to Premier Li Keqiang, the government's primary objective is to stabilise the job market for recent graduates. Companies that offer internship positions to recent graduates will receive subsidies in addition to other benefits designed to increase employment overall.

For graduates who want to start their own businesses, several local governments have low-interest loans available. Some of the void in entry-level positions in the private sector is anticipated to be filled by state-backed businesses.

According to Rockee Zhang, Managing Director for Greater China at the recruiting agency Randstad, the entry-level employment market in China was much worse than it was during the global financial crisis of 2008–2009, with new jobs declining by 20–30% from the previous year.

Zhang, a recruiter for 20 years, said, "This year is a low point, the lowest I've seen."

Another recruitment company, Zhilian Zhaopin, claims that expected salaries are also 6.2 percent lower.

Requests for response from China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security and Ministry of Education went unanswered.

Many Chinese graduates have found employment in the computer sector, but according to recruiters, the sector is cutting back on hiring this year.

Many of China's tech behemoths, notably Tencent and Alibaba, had to make significant job losses as a result of a regulatory crackdown. Five IT industry sources told Reuters that tens of thousands of people have lost their employment overall in the sector this year. According to a research released in April by Shanghai-based Talent Assessment and Management Consulting business NormStar, job layoffs varied among China's roughly 10 largest tech companies but averaged at about 10%.

Requests for response from the corporations were not answered.

A nine-month ban on new online gaming licences due to violent material and other problems was removed in April, during which time 14,000 businesses in the sector had to close.

Tens of thousands of workers left the private school industry, which attracted regulatory scrutiny as well. 60,000 layoffs have been announced by New Oriental, the largest company in the sector.

New hiring is hesitant. A human resources manager at a Tencent business unit claimed they were looking to hire "a few dozen" new graduates, down from approximately 200 a year earlier and asked to remain anonymous since they were not permitted to speak to the media.

According to Julia Zhu of the staffing firm Robert Walters, "Internet companies have eliminated tonnes of jobs." "They are now choosing more experienced individuals over recent grads if they have the financial means to do so."

Jason Wang, a headhunter based in Beijing who has recently focused primarily on recruiting for tech companies, is now doing most of his work for state-backed telecommunications companies.

Wang declared that the era of internet companies' hiring binges was over.

Employers in China typically disapprove of graduates who are jobless for a while after graduation. Instead of terrible luck with the economy, many families perceive it as an embarrassment.

According to government data, a record number of people are applying for post-graduate education in order to prevent long gaps in their CVs because taking blue-collar work after receiving a university degree is sometimes frowned upon.

Vicente Yu, who graduated in 2021, is currently jobless after losing his position at a media company in late 2017. Rent and other essential costs in the southern city of Guangzhou will be covered by his savings for another month or two.

The 21-year-old, who has been dealing with anxiety and sleep issues, added, "My dad said you should never come home again, he claimed he should have raised a dog instead of me."

He spends his nights browsing social media sites to find other young people in same circumstances.

I get some comfort in thinking about all the folks who, like me, were unable to obtain employment.

Reponsive Ads