Beijing: With China’s economy slowing, millions of young people are facing an increasingly uncertain future as they compete fiercely for fewer and fewer jobs. According to official data released this month, one of her five urban youths in China was unemployed in her July. That’s more than three times her national average and her highest since January 2018. Nearly 11 million graduates entered China’s tough job market this summer as the economy slowed. Second quarter growth was her 0.4%, the lowest in two years.

Zhao Yuting, 22, told AFP that companies were reluctant to hire amid the economic slowdown, with experienced workers vying for graduate-level jobs. Since she graduated in July, she has submitted her resume to dozens of companies. Only a handful called her for an interview, but she declined, saying she lacked experience.

With an English degree, Zhao thought she could make a living as a tutor until she found a full-time job. But with the recent crackdown on technology and the education sector, which normally absorb new talent, such jobs have evaporated. “It’s been a couple of months since she started her job search, but it doesn’t seem likely that she’ll be hired,” she said of moving in with her parents while she was looking for a job. She said Zhao was forced to. “The more time it takes, the more pressure there is.”

slim outlook

Analysts point to an economic slowdown crippled by Covid lockdowns and a large cohort entering the workforce during the graduation season in July and August for the bleak prospects facing China’s youth. Official data do not track rural youth unemployment, and the actual number of unemployed could be more than double the official figure, said Zhuang, an economist at the study group TS Lombard. Mr. Bo estimates.

Blue-collar workers are also struggling to find work as growth slows in the manufacturing and construction industries. “The reality is worse than the data suggests,” said Ho Fung Han, a China political economy expert at Johns Hopkins University. “Social disruption can easily spread if problems continue without improvement.”

At a job fair in the tech hub of Shenzhen, there were long lines of anxious parents and young graduates waiting for the chance to chat with recruiters. But Fair headhunters said they are picky about graduates from top universities. “My goal was to work in Shenzhen, in China’s Silicon Valley,” Luo Wen, a computer science graduate, told AFP. “But after more than four months of searching, I am ready to work in a smaller city for less money.”

“I can’t see the future”

According to data from Zhaopin, an online recruitment agency, the salaries of graduates who landed jobs this year were an average of 12% lower than last year. And some job seekers are lowering their ambition, while others are spending more time on further research. increase. Employers demand increasingly higher qualifications for jobs that don’t necessarily require them.

Analysts blamed government policies for the rapid rise in college students over the past decade as the economy failed to accommodate more knowledge workers.”The pandemic and lockdowns have only exacerbated the problem. said Mr Hung. The government has pledged to boost employment by providing tax cuts for small businesses and more start-up funding.

Premier Li Keqiang said China’s job crisis was “complex and serious” and called on state-owned enterprises to work towards stabilizing the economy. And as growth in the private sector slows, job seekers are flocking to cram schools to prepare for the competitive civil service exams. A record two million people took the national civil service exam last fall.

A recent survey by 51job, one of China’s largest job search services, found that 40% of respondents preferred a stable state job to a corporate career. But Zhao, who cannot afford to study further and has no connections to secure a government job, is left with few options. “I feel like I can’t see the future,” she said. “I am not making any progress. I am miserable.” – AFP

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