Chinese President Xi Jinping Aims for Making Youth Employment their Top Priority


At a significant policy summit in July, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to give priority to youth employment and allocate more funds to job development, raising hopes for reforms in that area.
Xi stated at a Politburo study session that full employment should become a “priority goal” for social and economic development and that jobs for college graduates should be the “focus of the focus,” as reported by the official Xinhua News Agency on Tuesday.
The remarks coincide with a slump in China’s economy that has made it difficult for young people to find employment. Xi had already told students to learn to “eat bitterness,” a slang term for enduring adversity.

His most recent statements also allude to possible topics of discussion for China’s third plenum, which is scheduled to take place in a few months and determine Beijing’s long-term agenda.
Xi stated at the study session on Monday that China should encourage the growth of businesses and sectors that have a high potential for creating jobs. He also mentioned that courses and subjects in higher education should be constantly changed to meet the demands of emerging industries and technologies.
Additionally, Xi stated that society should be taught the “correct view for employment.” According to earlier media reports, younger generations are increasingly choosing professions in the service industry over manufacturing ones.

According to recent updates, which cited Ministry of Education data, about 11.8 million graduates will join China’s labor market this year, a 2% increase from the previous year. Prior to Beijing changing the counting methodology to exclude students, which it claimed showed a more realistic picture of unemployment, the unemployment rate among those between the ages of 16 and 24 reached a record high last summer.

In April, the age group’s unemployment rate decreased somewhat from March to 14.7%.
The Chinese president emphasized this week that property, employment, and childcare are among the other areas that require significant reforms. Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang called for more efforts earlier in the month to guarantee young people have steady jobs.

“This is all preparing the audience for the third plenum,” said Alicia Garcia Herrero, chief Asia Pacific economist at Natixis SA.

She anticipates that the government would explore measures like employment subsidization, which would increase the financial incentives for businesses and academic institutions to put more recent graduates.

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