Opting for 'slower employment'?

(China Daily)
Updated: 2017-05-17 07:28:32

A graduate looks at a screen at a job fair in April in Nanjing, Jiangsu province.[Photo by Su Yan/For China Daily]

With 7.95 million fresh graduates out this year, the country's job market for youngsters is likely to be very competitive in the coming months.

Recent media reports related to the employment situation for these graduates point to anxiety among them. Local online portal NetEase says an increasing number of college graduates are going in for "slower employment" options that allow them the time to observe and learn more as they adjust to a new reality.

According to Xinhua News Agency, some are pursuing a gap year, a popular trend in the West, where high school graduates take a year off to travel or follow personal interests before joining college. But many Chinese college graduates also seem interested in taking time off before finding a full-time job.

Some young people are reacting to such reports in social media by saying they are expected to face an overcrowded job market all by themselves. Media commentators, however, say the government should not waver in its policy target of achieving adequate employment as it could cause panic among young people and hurt the future growth of the economy.

So, is "slower employment" a viable option for young graduates?


Young people don't have much of a choice at present.

1. As the Chinese economy has yet to regain its high-speed momentum, and as more young people enter the job market each year, the government has limited options in how to boost the job market.

2. "Slower employment" is not "zero employment". Young people who are not ideally equipped for today's job market could benefit from training to improve themselves or part-time employment such as internships or apprenticeships.

3. Even though the Western "gap year" concept primarily involves time off before college, Chinese graduates who have difficulties securing immediate employment could also take time off in a similar fashion. Those who have the resources could travel, do voluntary work or even start their own businesses.


Most college graduates should seek immediate employment.

1. While taking time off to travel the world, joining an NGO or working to help the underprivileged all sound very good, these are not realistic options for most college graduates. Many may even have student loans that they need to pay off.

2. For a government that has tried its best to help universities recruit more students, the responsibility of helping these students find jobs when they graduate is important. Millions of young people's livelihoods and the future of the nation's economy depend on this.

3. Employment is one of the most important factors in an economy's health. It is also fundamental to social stability. Once unemployment increases, China's competitiveness in the world market may reduce.

China Daily



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