CHINA Podcast: Story in the Story (11/13/2018 Tue.)


Podcast: Story in the Story (11/13/2018 Tue.)

People's Daily app

02:26, November 13, 2018


From the People’s Daily app.

This is Story in the Story.

Nearly 700,000 people hoping to get a job in China’s national civil service applied to take the 2019 entrance test, according to education service provider

Of those applicants, 576,392 have been approved to take the test in December, yet only 14,500 civil servants will be hired this year, the fewest in 10 years.

The number of vacancies in this year’s recruitment drive is a little more than half the number that were offered in 2017.

Once admitted, the civil servants will work for 75 central government agencies and 20 institutions directly under them, according to the State Administration of Civil Service (SACS).

Today’s Story in the Story looks at what makes so many people apply for a government job even though the chances of getting one are remote.


(Photo: People's Daily Online) 

This year's recruitment will put a high premium on the applicants' personal background. Recruiting departments and institutions will strictly check the applicants' personal information, including age, Party standing, educational background and work experience.

Applicants who fail the political standard will be denied due to a one-strike principle.

"The decrease in the number of vacancies is the result of the country's decision to reduce the government's role in resource allocation," said Su Wei, a professor at the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Chongqing Municipal Committee.

Su said the strict standards are being applied to make sure the country recruits highly qualified civil servants before they could be promoted to important Party organs.

A 31-year-old Beijing woman surnamed Zhang, a previous applicant for a government job, said even though she already had a job that paid well, the pressure was heavy and she often had to work overtime.

"The reason I'm sitting this exam is that I want to switch to a more stable and easier job," she said.

Work stability, benefits such as low-cost medicare and subsidies on transportation and lunches are among the perks of a government job.


A candidate examines the test schedule for the local civil servant examination in Jiangsu province, March 23, 2014. (Photo: China Daily)

Li Xiaomeng, a student from Beijing, spent nearly 2,000 yuan (around $300) in a training course preparing him for the exam.

"I want to stay in Beijing. I also want to find a stable job. I think there's no better choice than I take this exam and hopefully become a public servant," Li said.

Zhao Huiqin, another student from Beijing, said her first choice was to take the public servant exam as she had spent about half a year preparing for the tests. Despite the slim chances, she is hopeful that she will get through and end up working in that dream government job.

In 2017, more than one million people took the exam for just 28,000 vacant jobs.

(Produced by Nancy Yan Xu, Brian Lowe, Lance Crayon, Grace Xinyi Song and Elaine Yue Lin. Music by: Text from Global Times, China Daily, People's Daily Online and

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