Visitors tour an exhibition center of Ant Financial in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. (Photo: China Daily)
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, only 1.08 million urban jobs were created in the first two months of this year, down 640,000 from the corresponding period in 2019, and the urban unemployment rate hit 6.2 percent in February, up 0.9 percentage points from January.
This and other data show that the current employment situation in China is grim. This was expected given the extensive quarantining of people and locking down of Hubei province to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak.
However, as the epidemic situation has improved, the priority now is stabilizing the employment situation.
Some provinces have launched special trains to take people from Hubei to their workplaces. Yet a vibrant job market requires more. Those having lost their jobs need a freer and more open employment environment.
The digital economy has come in handy, with some large and State-owned enterprises launching "cloud recruitment" to ensure hiring does not stop. It has eased the pressure on fresh graduate jobseekers.
While job seekers are not finding jobs, many employers are not finding laborers. So the digital economy needs to be tapped further. The government should give subsidies to agencies providing job introduction services to direct job seekers to vacancies, and those strengthening vocational training to enrich the skills of job seekers.