According to VOA News, more than 10 million college graduates are expected to flock to the job market in China this summer. However, many college students graduating this year have had difficulties finding jobs due to the government’s ‘zero-COVID’ policy.

China Employment Research Institute of Renmin University of China and Zhaopin jointly published “Report on the Employment Market Prosperity of College Graduates in the First Quarter of 2022.” According to the report, job applicants increased by 75%, while the demand for recruitment decreased by 8% annually.

In an article published by Nikkei Asia on July 14, the news outlet had an interview with this year’s graduates.

Mia Li is a 22-year-old graduate with a top university degree. Mia Li was an intern at a Chinese tech company, where she dreamed of becoming a full-time employee. Unfortunately, her company began firing staff.

She told Nikkei Asia, “Big tech companies used to recruit from colleges in the spring. But every one of them is laying off staff this year.” 

She said that she was so panicked and worried that she wouldn’t be able to find a job.

In desperation, the 22-year-old accepted to slash salary expectations in order to land a job. Mia Li eventually found another job in the southern city of Guangzhou. Still, it’s not her ideal job.

China’s youth unemployment rate is currently over 18 percent, roughly three times the official urban unemployment rate and the highest level on record for job seekers aged 16 to 24.

The Nikkei said that a record 10.76 million college graduates are entering one of China’s worst job markets in decades due to the government’s strict zero-COVID policy. Besides, the government’s regulatory crackdown on the key technology sector contributes to the job market issues.

Leading tech companies like Tencent and Alibaba are laying off thousands of employees. 

Amy Tan, a job recruiter in Guangzhou, said, “The job market is especially sluggish due to COVID prevention measures.” She added, “Companies aren’t hiring because their sales have been affected.”

Parents also are concerned about their children’s unemployment. Some put pressure on these grads.

Another unemployed grad wrote: “My mother can’t see that I’m so worried. Every day she says the only thing I know how to do is eat. … [She says] I’m not thinking about the future and accuses me of being incompetent. … But I’m trying my best.”

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