|Minister: China's employment situation "grave", counter measures take "initial effects"(03/10/09)|
BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- Human Resources and Social Security Minister Yin Weimin warned of a "grave" employment situation in China on Tuesday, but said government measures to boost employment have taken "initial effect".
With the big drop in company posts, a large number of migrant workers who lost their jobs, and the labor-intensive industry falling as major victim amid global financial downturn, "the employment situation in China is very grave," he said at a press conference on the sidelines of the parliament's annual full session.
In face of the grave situation, the Chinese government has taken a series of measures, which have shown "initial effect", he said.
In the first two months of this year, China saw "a reverse on the dropping trend" in new labor posts in cities, he said.
The number of new laborers stood at 690,000 and 930,000 in January and February, compared with 550,000 and 380,000 in November and December last year, according to Yin.
China recorded the first rise in company posts in February after it dropped for four consecutive months from October last year, he said.
"It's only a moderate increase of one percent, but it's good news," he said.
"But can we then judge from the two pieces of good news that our employment situation is turning for the good? I think we should keep on observing the overall economic development (to make a judgement)," he said.
Yin also reiterated the priority of helping college graduates to find jobs this year.
He cited a series of measures unveiled by the State Council last month, including encouraging college graduates to work in rural areas, at grassroots urban communities, and in smaller enterprises, asking research institutions to recruit university graduates, and stepping up support for graduates starting up their own businesses.
He reaffirmed the State Council has scrapped residence restrictions in cities, except the four municipalities of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Chongqing, to offer graduates broader access for jobs.
China has 6.11 million college students due to graduate this year, and another one million from last year are still looking for jobs after they failed to get a job in 2008.
Graduates are having a hard time finding jobs this year as vacancies are getting slashed under the current financial crisis.