Starting salaries surge for Shanghai grads: report

Yang Meiping
Lowered social security premiums, combined with increased investment from high-tech companies, have increased demand for new staffers and raised their pay, finds a recent report.
Yang Meiping

The average starting salary for those who graduated from universities in Shanghai last year reached 7,103 yuan (US$1,031) per month, a 17.91 percent increase from the previous year, according to a survey report jointly released by the Shanghai Human Resources and Social Security Bureau and Shanghai Education Commission.

According to the commission, a total of 175,600 students graduated from local universities last year, with 96.38 percent now working or seeking further education. With an average age of 24, 96.4 percent of them were born after 1990 and over 76 percent were born after 1995.

Among the graduates, about 100,700 are now working in 19,400 enterprises in Shanghai and their starting monthly salaries are 1,079 yuan higher than those who graduated in 2018.

The report said the huge increase came as Shanghai lowered social security premiums, while many high-tech companies increased investment in Shanghai as the city is building itself into a global center for science and technology innovation, which has not only increased the demand for graduates but also their pay.

Some university students reported higher starting pay. Take Shanghai Jiao Tong University for example, the average starting pay reached 135,100 yuan per year for undergraduates and 189,100 yuan for postgraduates. They got more than two offers on average.

Among the 2019 graduates, more than 30 percent are native Shanghainese, while over 69 percent are from outside of Shanghai.

Popular destination

The report said Shanghai has become a popular destination for job seekers, with more out-of-town students remaining in Shanghai after graduation. It also pointed out that the city has become increasingly popular among those from east China and the Yangtze River Delta region as regional integrated development has become a national strategy.

According to the report, 32.05 percent of graduates landed jobs via recruitment events organized by schools, 21.32 percent by recommendations from acquaintances including teachers and relatives, and 26.29 percent contacted employers directly.

The survey also found 32.72 percent of graduates believed that academic degree had the greatest influence in job seeking, 24.92 percent believed the most influential factor was their major, while 18.81 percent said internship experience was most helpful.

Leasing and business services, scientific research and information transmission, software and information technology services were the top three fields that welcomed the largest numbers of the graduates.

Domestic private companies recruited the largest number, or 26.19 percent, of the graduates, followed by companies with limited liability (24.72 percent) and foreign-invested companies (14.52 percent).

The report pointed out that Shanghai has been improving its business environment, such as decreasing taxes and other corporate fees, which has in turn prompted more hiring.

Among 19,400 enterprises which recruited 2019 graduates from local universities, about 20.33 percent are small and micro-sized with fewer than 50 staffers, yet they hired 40.3 percent of graduates who are now working in Shanghai. Nearly 20 percent are small enterprises with 50 to 200 staffers and 36.54 percent have more than 1,000 workers.

Nearly 14 percent of working graduates said they are “very satisfied” with their current jobs, 61.17 percent are “relatively satisfied,” 23 percent said “just so so” and 2.12 percent are “dissatisfied.”

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