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Record Number of College Graduates: 10.76 Million in 2022, Creates Complex and Severe Problems

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that government statistics showed that, in 2022, the number of new urban laborers in need of employment in China will reach around 16 million, a new high for recent years. Of those 10.76 million are college graduates. That is the highest number in history. On April 7, Vice Premier Hu Chunhua presided over a symposium on the employment situation. He pointed out that, at present, because of the Covid pandemic and other factors, the employment challenge is “complex and severe.” Zeng Xiangquan, director of the Employment Research Institute of Renmin University of China, found that after the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020, the proportion of college graduates choosing “slow employment” increased, and more graduates took the initiative to withdraw from the labor market. Now the supply of postgraduates is increasing, but employers are facing difficulties, which will push up the current unemployment rate. 2022 could be the most stressful year ever for college graduates. Just as the number of college graduates has reached its peak, the number of traditional employment “placement services” that help on the demand side has shrunk significantly. The industries hit really hard were real estate, education and training, as well as the Internet. Large-scale layoffs occurred in many mega information technology companies. In the financial field, since 2017, strengthening government supervision has become the main focus of the financial world. While deleveraging and reducing risks, the financial industry has slowed down and the employment opportunities in the industry have also declined as a whole. Private enterprises have contributed to 80 percent of China’s job market. However, due to a number of factors such as the pandemic and a reduced demand, the number of employees,  especially from small, medium and micro enterprises, has dropped significantly. In reality, the structural contradictions are more severe than the contradiction between supply and demand. With the change in young people’s career preferences, the mismatch of “workers who can’t find work, and businesses that can’t find workers” will worsen.

Source: NetEase, April 14, 2022