On July 17, 2012, the National Work Force Employment Conference was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Premier Wen Jiabao attended the conference and spoke on labor issues. He stressed the importance of creating job opportunities and noted that it is a top priority to protect and secure people’s livelihoods. Wen asked all levels of government bodies to gain a better understanding of the urgency. He also recognized that the current and future job market faces more complicated and serious challenges and said that a bigger effort was needed to create more job opportunities.
According to official statistics, in urban and rural areas, a total of 98 million new employment positions were created between 2003 to 2011. Among those 40 million were for college graduates, 30 million were for workers from state-owned enterprises who had been laid off, and 28 million were for laid off workforce who had re-entered the work force. By the end of 2011, the total number of peasant workers had reached 250 million, up by 139 million from 2003. Each year, there are a total 12 million professional workers taking middle to advanced vocational education classes and 150 million taking training courses.
Source: Xinhua, July 18, 2012