context: The official statement aims to alleviate concerns on deflation and mass unemployment, and to demonstrate that the Central Economic Work Conference decision on prioritising employment for college graduates, migrant workers and veterans is being rigorously implemented.

2018 marked the sixth consecutive year with job creation exceeding 13 million, with 13.61 million jobs created in urban areas, up by 100,000 y-o-y, said Zhang Jinan 张纪南 Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MoHRSS) in an interview with CCTV, Xinhua, People’s Daily and Economic Daily on 13 Jan 2019. Year-end registered unemployment rate hit a record low of 3.8 percent. The unemployed-to-job openings ratio hit 1.27 in Q4 2018, suggesting that overall job supply exceeds job demand and mass layoffs are under control, claims Zhang.

Recent employment promotion measures, according to Zhang, include

  • ‘Plan for internship programs for unemployed youth’, launched 1 Jan 2019, seeks to recruit around 1 million unemployed youth for state-sponsored internship programs by 2021
    • beneficiaries include
      • recent graduates of higher education institutes seeking jobs (unemployed) within 2 years of graduation
      • other unemployed youth aged 16-24
  • reducing firms’ labour costs
  • professional skills training initiatives
  • timely payment of unemployment insurance benefits and fair compensation to migrant workers

Zhang said the state is actively responding to population aging, highlighting