Graduates facing a challenging job market

Tracy Li
China's employment situation became grim for graduates in the first quarter under the impact of COVID-19 with more applicants and fewer openings. 
Tracy Li

Employment prospects for graduates in the first quarter were badly affected by the COVID-19 crisis, according to a report.

A study by the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) under the Renmin University of China and job-hunting website Zhaopin.com, found that the CIER index of college students dropped from 2.17 to 1.38 quarter on quarter. With fewer job vacancies, more undergraduates filed applications during January to March period.

A CIER index above 1.0 means job supply outweighs demand, while below 1.0 is the opposite.

Compared with the same period last year, the number of applicants increased by around 70 percent, while positions available to college students fell by 16.7 percent.

The pandemic affected both supply and demand in the employment market to some extent, making the employment situation for college students in this quarter not so optimistic, the report noted.

More graduates expect to work in state-owned or private enterprises, with fewer choosing to be entrepreneurs, the study found. 

The CIER index for large companies stood at 1.97, and the numbers for medium , small and micro businesses were 0.75, 0.86 and 0.77, respectively.

College students’ expected salaries are mainly in the range of 5,000-6,000 yuan (US$706-US$847) and 4,000-5,000 yuan, according to the study.

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