China seeks to boost job prospects for record number of fresh graduates

Job seekers wearing face masks fill out forms at the Wan Chai job fair, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hong Kong, China October 29, 2020. REUTERS/Tyrone Yes

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BEIJING, May 13 (Reuters) – China will offer grants, tax breaks and easier loans to boost prospects for university graduates, the firm said on Friday, as record numbers prepare to enter the labor market. work this year amid downside risks to economic growth stemming from COVID-19 curbs.

The grants are aimed at small businesses, while graduates launching start-ups get tax breaks, easier loan terms and even rent-free premises, the state council’s general office, or cabinet, said. , in a review.

“China… is encouraging employers in COVID-hit regions to sign labor contracts with university graduates online,” he said, pledging support for small and medium-sized businesses that hire more people. university graduates.

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China wants to promote healthy development of the online platform economy, he added, referring to a sector that is a big source of jobs, crucial at a time when a record 10.76 million people are expected to graduate this year.

“‘Red lights’ and ‘green lights’ will be put in place to promote healthy development of the platform economy and generate more jobs,” the notice said, referring to a system of incentives .

But the worst COVID-19 outbreaks since 2020 have added to the pressures students face and are putting small businesses that are a mainstay of the world’s second-largest economy at risk.

China’s “dynamic clearance” policy against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has led to full or partial shutdowns in dozens of cities, including a six-week citywide shutdown in the commercial center of Shanghai. Read more

Small businesses, in particular, have suffered from the concurrent disruptions in services and logistics.

China aims to create more than 11 million urban jobs this year, reaching as many as 13 million, Premier Li Keqiang said in March. But recently he described the employment situation as “complicated and grim”.

Li added, “Stabilising employment is essential for people’s livelihood and is the main support for the economy to operate within a reasonable range,” in remarks prepared for a teleconference with provincial leaders on Saturday.

China’s surveyed urban unemployment rate hit its highest level in nearly two years in March at 5.8%, while the rate for jobseekers aged 16-24 hit 16.0%, the highest since July 2021, according to official data.

Policymakers should aim to get the labor market back on track to maintain economic growth, even if the annual GDP growth target could be difficult to achieve, analyst Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said on Thursday. .

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Reporting by Ellen Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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