China’s job market shrinks as financial crisis deepens

December 16th, 2008 - 4:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Dec 16 (Xinhua) The global financial chill is freezing the employment market for Chinese college graduates with some 1.5 million fresh graduates looking for jobs, a think tank said Tuesday. The country could see an even tougher employment situation in 2009 as 500,000 more graduates will turn up, a survey by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) said.

Chen Guangjin, vice director of the CASS sociological research centre, attributed the bleak bleak job market primarily to the global financial crisis.

Migrant workers were also being affected, Li Peilin, another expert with the CASS, said.

Li said the financial crisis and China’s slowing economic growth had forced four million migrant workers to return to their rural homes.

Chen said some companies had closed, further constricting employment possibilities. Some facilities, especially in the smokestack industries, had shut down because exports had fallen. Some had also been affected by natural disasters this year, such as prolonged snowstorms and the May 12 earthquake.

Analysts predicted economic growth will keep slowing, further cutting labour demand. Gross domestic product is likely to grow 9.5 percent this year and eight percent in 2009.

Li noted there has also been a post-Olympics lull in economic activities, in addition to the freak winter and snowstorms and quake. The latter two had cost China more than one trillion yuan ($146.03 billion).

Zhang Yansheng, head of the foreign economic research institute of the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planning body in China, said eight percent economic growth might not even be achieved in 2008 because of the sharp deceleration in industrial production, a major driver of China’s growth.

Industrial output rose just 5.4 percent from a year earlier in November, well off the 8.2 percent projection in October.

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