The civil service test started Saturday in over 20 Chinese provinces, aiming to select candidates to bridge the talent gap at the local level.
Despite relatively inferior benefits compared to the national government jobs, the overall competition at the local level remains heated.
In Chongqing, 63 people on average apply for one job, a record high in the last three years. The southwestern border province, Yunnan, followed the trend with a peak application of nearly 310,000 candidates for 3,700 posts available.
A growing appetite for primary-level officials stands out in this year's exam. Local governments with a shortage of professionals takes similar measures to loosen the requirements for applicants.
Dozens of local governments lowered the once-stubborn threshold of requirements, like specialty restrictions and a minimum score. In Jiangxi Province, which urgently needs government employees with specialties in marketing and quality supervision, structured a big employment plan of 549 candidates, making a record high in decades and drew public attention.
Anhui Province swelled the ratio of grass roots applicants to nearly 80 percent. referring rural applicants with a mastery of agriculture know-how, love modern farming and share an affinity with the common people, in a response to China's rural revitalization strategy.
However, some provinces take opposite pathes to tighten the restrictions. In Hubei Province, 351 posts for poverty-stricken areas were only open to candidates holding local hukou (China's residence permit).