China’s official data shows an economy on a sharp decline. And the unemployment is off the roof at almost 20%, many among nearly 11 million college and university graduates would enter the labor market without finding a job. In such a scenario, Chinese officials are telling graduates to start their careers in urban and rural communities alike.

In recent months, there has been a lot of news about China’s economic slowdown. 

UBS in May cut China’s year-on-year GDP growth forecast from 4.2% to 3%. Earlier, JPMorgan downgraded its full-year China growth forecast from 4.3% to 3.7%.

In a more gloomy estimate, Bloomberg Economics predicts the world’s second-largest economy will grow just 2% this year. To put in perspective, US GDP will increase 2.8% this year. This has never happened since 1976, the White House has even pointed out this issue.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics points out that the surveyed unemployment rate rose to 6.1 percent in April, the highest level since March 2020. Also, unemployment among young people is the most serious. For example, the unemployment rate among the 16-24-year-old age group has reached 18.2%, the highest record ever.

And as the graduation season is coming closer, unemployment among young Chinese may be even more severe. According to statistics, there will be 10.7 million fresh graduates in 2022. However, a previous survey by the Employment Research Institute of Renmin University of China reported that only 46.7% of the new graduates had received a job offer letter, which means that half of them remain unemployed after graduation. And the salary expectation is also lower.

Recently, multiple Chinese ministries have jointly issued an announcement titled “Notice on Doing a Good Job in the Employment of Ordinary College Graduates in Urban and Rural Communities in 2022”. The notice asks this year’s college graduates to go to urban and rural areas alike to find jobs or start-up businesses.

Xiong Bingqi 熊丙奇, a well-known Chinese education intellectual, discusses this.

He thinks that the key lies in the way you attract talents. After attracting talents, how do you let them show their skills? How to integrate with the local social and economic development? How to improve the local employment conditions, so students feel that this place’s living environment is good. Is there a better room for development? If students can best use their talent, and the local economy can develop, this is a good thing. 

He said that this needs a systematic project of talent recruitment, talent management, and talent use.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.