Vacancies outpacing job seekers

Labor market sees a slight improvement in the second quarter with a significant increase in the demand for workers, according to the latest industry report. 

China’s labor market improved slightly in the second quarter compared with the first three months, as the number of job vacancies outpaced the increase in job seekers, a new industry report said on Tuesday.

Jointly released by Zhaopin Ltd, a domestic career platform, and the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) at Renmin University of China, the report found a stable labor market from April to June, with the CIER index up to 1.89 from 1.68 in the first quarter.

The rally was attributed to a significant growth in labor demand. The number of job vacancies jumped 15.7 percent quarter over quarter, 2.7 percentage points more than the increase in job seekers, according to the study.

The index, however, maintained almost the same level compared with a year ago.

By sectors, the intermediary service sector had the best performance, with a CIER index of 5.86 while the IT/Internet industry remained the fifth best performer in the reporting period.

The finance sector continued to contract in both supply and demand. The overall quarterly job demand in this area decreased 37 percent year over year in the second quarter.

In contrast, the hotel/restaurant sector experienced a 22.9 percent increase in job demand in third-tier cities, as purchasing power grew for the people there.

Notably, the travel/vacation and testing/detection/authentication sectors were back on the list of 10 worst-performing sectors.

Printing and farming experienced a decrease in job demand but a rise in the number of applicants, bringing down the CIER indexes.

Meanwhile, the gap between the best-performing sector and the worst-performers narrowed, the report noted. The CIER index of the best-performing sector was 15.4 times better than that of the worst-performers, compared to 21.6 times in the previous quarter.

In the past three months, occupations such as mechanic, sales and cooking were highly sought-after, while positions related to property management and project coordination were not that popular.

By regions and cities, CIER indexes for most areas all rose from the previous quarter due to a greater increase in the number of vacancies than job applicants, but the indexes were lower than the same period in 2018.

The job market in the Yangtze River delta and Pearl River delta continued to perform better than Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei.

The CIER indexes improved for all-tier cities compared to the previous quarter, but fell from a year ago.

The labor market is expected to remain stable, the study reported, with the CIER index very likely to continue to recover in the third quarter.

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