A First for China: Employment Tops Agenda as Jobs Becoming Difficult to Find

Another takeaway from the Politburo economic meeting: a new focus on employment.

iFeng: 中央定调下半年中国经济 传递三大重磅民生信号
Sogou: China's Economy Sends Three Major Signs of People's Livelihood

Two of the three related to housing, as discussed in the prior post No Major Stimulus, No Housing, No Deleveraging, China Will Rely on Tax Cuts and Parking Lots to Hit 2H GDP Target

The third is employment.

-Implement the Employment Priority Policy

The meeting called for the implementation of the employment priority policy and the employment of key groups such as college graduates, migrant workers and retired soldiers.

Employment is the source of income and the greatest livelihood. This year, for the first time, China has put the employment priority policy at the macro policy level. The employment target set is to create more than 11 million new jobs in cities and towns, with the unemployment rate in urban surveys at about 5.5% and the registered unemployment rate in cities and towns within 4.5%.

In the first half of the year, 7.37 million new jobs were created in cities and towns nationwide, fulfilling 67% of the target tasks for the whole year. The unemployment rate surveyed in 31 major cities and towns was 5.0%. Obviously, the employment situation is generally stable.

However, as judged by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, looking forward to the next period, the employment situation is still complicated, the total employment pressure is still relatively high, the structural employment contradictions are even more prominent, some industries and enterprises are facing pressure to stabilize their posts, and some workers are finding employment more difficult.

Zhang Ying, director of the employment promotion department of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said on July 25 that stable employment growth, together with relevant departments, will improve the policy system of industry, trade, investment and other policies conducive to employment promotion. We will improve the implementation mechanism of the employment priority policy, comprehensively push forward the implementation of policies such as social security fee reduction and unemployment insurance refund, encourage enterprises not to lay off workers, reduce layoffs, and support enterprises to absorb employment.

Xu Hongcai believes that stable employment is the first of the "six stable" jobs. The meeting emphasized that employment is the priority. The logic behind this is to stabilize income through stable employment, thus achieving the goal of stable consumption.

The meeting also proposed to dig deep into the potential of domestic demand, expand and expand the final demand, effectively activate the rural market, and use more reform methods to expand consumption.

Chang Yang, a senior economist at China-Thailand Securities Research Institute, said that reforms in education, medical care and old-age care will be further intensified, especially the opening up at home, which will strongly stimulate consumption and create new economic growth points.

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