Chinese College Grads Find Entry to Bureaucracy Competitive

October 31, 2009 Updated: October 31, 2009

Recruitment for the nation’s civil service positions began on Oct. 15 and the competition is fierce. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) 1.35 million applicants passed the 2010 qualification evaluation, giving them eligibility to take the final exam on Nov. 29.

MHRSS figures show that these applicants are vying for just over 15,000 available civil service positions from among more than 130 recruiting institutions under the control of central authorities.

According to an Oct. 25 report released by the State Administration of Civil Service, 230,000 people applied for positions directly under central authorities and administration departments above the provincial level, and 800,000—of which 61 percent are recent college graduates—applied for positions at the county level.

The report said that 1.24 million registered applicants have bachelor’s degrees or above.

Among all the positions available, those related to science and technology are perhaps the most competitive. One job vacancy at the European Office of the International Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology attracted 4,080 applicants. according to the Global Times.

Compared to the 1.05 million who took the exam last year, 2010 saw a marked increase in the number of applicants due to a severe shortage of stable jobs, the Global Times reported.

As of Sept. 1, 74 percent of China’s 6.11 million new college graduates have found employment—a moderate increase from the previous year, according to official data, which is often influenced by political imperatives.

In a recent interview with Voice of America (VOA), a mother from Henan Province said that her son, a graduate student, has several undergraduate colleagues who have only been able to find even temporary labor work since last year. She said that one individual who had found employment soon lost the job and had to return home due to the country’s economic crisis.

VOA quoted Asia Times as saying that while farmers in southern China earn an average monthly income of 1,500 yuan (US$220), college graduates in northern China such as Beijing earn about 1,400 yuan ($205) a month. By contrast, Henan graduates see an average monthly income of about 1,200 yuan ($176).

Read the original Chinese article.