China created over 13 million new jobs in urban areas in 2016 as part of an effort to stabilize the slowing economy. The country has seen over 1.2 million jobs created for three consecutive years, from 2014 to 2016, according to Economic Information Daily.
Despite the economic slowdown, the Chinese government has managed to keep a low urban registered unemployment rate, partially through employment services and support for college graduates, as well as for workers laid off from industries with excess capacity.
About 5.11 million workers in urban areas were re-employed from January to November 2016, or 102.2 percent of the goal set for the year. What's more, 1.54 million people categorized as difficult to employ found jobs, accounting for 128.3 percent of the annual target, according to reports.
Employment will remain a top priority in the next year due to lingering pressures. Experts believe 130 million new jobs will be created in 2017, as the industrial structure will be optimized and the economy stabilized. Reports indicate that approximately 25 million new jobs will be created during each year of the 13th Five-Year Plan period, among which 10 million are set aside for registered workers who have been laid off, 1.5 million are for college graduates and 3 million are for surplus agricultural laborers.
Employment will be the top priority of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), according to Yin Weimin, MOHRSS minister. A total of 7.95 million college students are expected to graduate in 2017, according to China's Ministry of Education.
Chen Baosheng, the minister of Education, said the numbers of college students who secured employment or started their own businesses after graduation has increased in the last three years. A report by Renmin University showed that 89.8 percent of college students have considered starting their own businesses, and 18.2 percent indicate firm plans to do so. The Ministry of Education called for improved policies that encourage college students to become entrepreneurs.
About 1.8 million jobs in the steel, coal and mining industries may have been lost by cutting overcapacity, which is the biggest employment pressure in five years, according to MOHRSS. The ministry has reportedly issued policies redistributing laborers in more than 20 provinces.