Shortly after the Chinese New Year (the most important holiday in China), Chinese university graduates turned their attention back to finding a job.
Nearly five million students will graduate from Chinese universities this year—820,000 more than the year before—and they face a tough road ahead to find employment.
The lack of employment opportunities available to these recent grads is best reflected in the job fairs that are held all across the country.
Many of these fairs—held during the end of February and early March—are usually packed with students pouring in to look for jobs. There is always a big turn out of applicants, even if there is heavy rain, and the eager applicants always far outweigh the available openings.
Hebei Province organized a spring job fair on March 1 in its capital city, Shijiazhuang. Held over two days, the fair saw 874 registered employers offering 12,700 positions. There were 60,000 attendees in the fair but the achievement rate of the job-seekers' inclination on employment was only 40 percent. On the same rainy day, job fairs could also be found in the cities of Beijing and Tianjin, where tens of thousands attended hoping to get employment.
On February 28 Liuzhou City in China's southern Guangxi Province also offered a job fair. This event saw only 200 recruiters, but nearly 20,000 job seekers, with most leaving the fair empty handed.
In Qingdao City of Shandong Province, 15,000 employee hopefuls attended a job fair on February 26. Although admission to the event was free, many students left disappointed having been offered salaries far below what they had expected.
So where can one find employment in China? The country's top ten job markets include: construction, IT, mechanics, trade and marketing, management, health care, steel, education training, chemical industry, and electronics. There are also a fast growing number of positions found in fields such as education training, medicine health, automobiles, mining, and logistics.
While China has seen its recent grads struggle to find employment over the past several years, the numbers have recently become worrisome. However, analysts claim that China's job market is far from saturated, contending that it's the country's unbalanced industrial structure that's creating the problem. They say significant reform is needed to solve the growing employment crisis.