July 22nd, 2012 | Global Times Chinese premier warns of “complicated, grim” job situation
Premier Wen Jiabao has warned of new employment pressure amid China’s economic slowdown, saying the country will face a more complicated and more severe situation in creating sufficient jobs.
China’s economy is facing several outstanding problems with its economic growth, which will continue to weigh on the job market, Premier Wen said in a speech on employment delivered at a national conference last week.
The full text of the speech was released Sunday by the State Council on the central government’s website.
Wen said the negative impact of the global financial crisis on China’s employment will linger for quite some time, leading to an imbalance between labor supplies and demand.
He said China needs to promote employment while maintaining steady and rapid economic growth.
“We should pay more attention to developing the real economy, encouraging the development of labor-intensive manufacturing industries and the service sector,” Wen said.
China’s economy grew by 7.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, marking the slowest pace of expansion in three years due to sluggish external and domestic demand.
The premier urged authorities at all levels to work harder to create jobs, saying that expanding employment is a top priority in ensuring and improving people’s livelihoods.
According to Wen, 98 million jobs were created in urban areas from 2003 to 2011 and the registered unemployment rate in cities and towns has stood below 4.3 percent for the past nine years.
Wen said the government has helped more than 28 million laid-off workers to find new jobs over the past nine years.
More people are leaving rural areas to seek jobs in the Chinese cities, with the number of migrant workers topping 250 million as of the end of 2011, 139 million more than that of 2003, according to Wen.
He called for local authorities to implement more proactive employment policies and give more priority to job creation when making national economic development programs and restructuring the economy.