China Wants College Graduates to Move to Villages and Find Jobs as Unemployment Hits Record
The photo taken on August 26, 2022 shows a woman using her phone during a job fair in Beijing. (Credits: AFP)
Joblessness among urban youths between the ages of 16 to 24 rose sharply to 19.6 per cent in March this year, the second-highest level on record
Amid a record rate of unemployment in China, the richest province in the country has come up with a unique, yet controversial, solution to employ the youth- sending 3 lakh jobless young population to the countryside to find work.
The Guangdong province in China, a manufacturing hub neighbouring Hong Kong, said it will help college graduates and young entrepreneurs to find work in villages, CNN reported.
The province also encouraged rural youth to return to the countryside to look for jobs there.
The announcement comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping in December 2022 called for urban youth to seek jobs in rural areas to revive the rural economy.
Beijing had launched a similar campaign during the time of former leader Mao Zedong in which tens of millions of urban youths were exiled to remote areas of China.
China is heading towards social instability as unemployment has risen to a historical level. The persistent youth unemployment comes as a record 11.58 million students graduated from universities and colleges this year.
Joblessness among urban youths between the ages of 16 to 24 rose sharply to 19.6 per cent in March this year, the second highest level on record, from 18.1 per cent in February, according to ANI.
The data suggests there are around 11 million jobless youth in China’s cities and towns.
The surging rates of unemployment among young people are largely due to China’s economic slowdown. Slower manufacturing and a weak IT sector are believed to be the reasons behind the persistent problem.
Last month, the Communist Youth League criticised young graduates for refusing to “tighten screws in factories,” and urged them “take off their suits, roll up their sleeves, and go to the farmland”, a report in Financial Times said.
However, many people in China are mocking the government on social media for failing to produce enough jobs for the rising numbers of educated youth.
The fears about social mobility are causing some youths to challenge conventional norms regarding families and employment. The Chinese young population are taking up “tang ping” or “lying flat” movement, which promotes doing the bare minimum instead of working hard for long-term returns.
There is also “moonlight clan,” a group of young Chinese who deliberately live paycheque-to paycheque, purchasing luxury items like vacations abroad to make up for longer-term disappointment.
Read all the Latest News here