【China Daily】Graduates face struggle as economy slows

Date:2016-2-25 From:China Daily

Graduates attend a job fair at Tianjin Polytechnic University on Saturday. Some 2,500 jobs from about 130 employers were on offer at the event, the first such fair in the city since the Spring Festival holiday. Jia Chenglong / for China Daily

Finding suitable employment could prove difficult for China’s college graduates this summer as a record 7.7 million leave higher education and enter the country’s job market amid a slowing economy.

For some, such as Guan Hongtao from Xi’an, Shaanxi province, a lack of opportunities in his chosen city of Guangzhou, Guangdong province, has forced him to widen his job search.

The 26-year-old, who expects to obtain a master’s degree in July, had been looking for work at a public hospital or biopharmaceutical firm but "found it very difficult".

"First, I noticed that there were fewer jobs being offered by companies, while the jobs at hospitals I was interested in required at least a doctorate," he said. "What’s more, the salary offered was lower than I expected. So I had to give up on Guangzhou and shift my attention to Beijing and Shanghai."

"My parents have insisted that I look for work in first-tier cities, as they think these could have better job prospects," he added.

Zhang Jingxiu, executive director of Beijing-based employment consultancy Newjincin Research Institute, said the overall outlook for the job market was negative due to downward economic pressures.

This, combined with the obsession among recent graduates for high-paying jobs in first-tier cities and the competition offered by Chinese students returning from abroad, means that employment opportunities are drying up.

"Demand for talent shrank as the economy slowed," said Zhang. "We have also noticed slow growth in salaries across different cities since the second half of 2015.

"When we talk about college graduate employment, we are not talking about whether they can find jobs. The key point is whether the jobs are satisfactory."

Wang Huiyao, director of the Center for China and Globalization(CCG), said domestic students might face further struggles as the government considers lifting the job cap for overseas students studying in China, which could even extend to fresh college graduates from abroad.

"Before, overseas students studying in China could not seek jobs or internships in China immediately after graduation, but this will soon be changed in Zhongguancun, a high-tech hub in Beijing," Wang said.

"International talents will help Chinese companies expand their business globally. There is always a high demand for graduates with an international background," he said.

From China Daily,2016-2-22.