China aims to create 50m new jobs by 2020

BEIJING • China will provide preferential policies and job training programmes to targeted groups in order to reach a goal of 50 million new jobs by the end of 2020.

As part of efforts to keep the unemployment rate below 5 per cent each year, the government will help targeted groups land jobs, especially college graduates and workers laid off due to overcapacity, according to guidelines released by the State Council on Monday.

Preferential policies for graduates include tax cuts and tuition fee reductions, if they are willing to work in distant rural areas. The central government will launch special programmes to help resource-intensive areas to relocate laid-off workers, according to the guidelines.

The job creation plan comes as the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said China expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries.

Producing 50 million new jobs is not easy amid economic downward pressure and Beijing's strong commitment to cutting overcapacity, said a senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission's employment department.

A total of 7.95 million new graduates and one million laid-off workers in industries with overcapacity generated each year "are key challenges" to achieving the goal as new job opportunities are hardly plentiful, according to the official.

HOPE IN NEW SECTORS

Although there are no easy answers to filling the gap, there should be hope in new emerging industries.

A SENIOR OFFICIAL FROM THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND REFORM COMMISSION'S EMPLOYMENT DEPARTMENT.

An estimated 4.8 million job openings will be created by retirement each year during the 13th five-year plan period (2016 to 2020).

"Although there are no easy answers to filling the gap, there should be hope in new emerging industries," he said, adding that local governments need to help the young adapt to industrial transformation.

A recent report by Boston Consulting Group shows that by the end of 2035, China's digital economy will reach about US$16 trillion (S$23 trillion), with a total employment capacity of 415 million, almost double that of 2020.

CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2017, with the headline 'China aims to create 50m new jobs by 2020'. Print Edition | Subscribe