Due to being ground zero for the Covid-19 pandemic, China has suffered greatly, in both business and employment. Fortunately, things are looking up for now as the nation’s job market has seemingly recovered to reach the same level as April 2019, though the challenges posed by the coronavirus remains. Meanwhile, Chinese students’  fundamental demand for studying abroad has not declined.

The Centre for China and Globalisation (CCG) released the Chinese Graduate Career Development Prospects 2020 Report, which details China’s current employment and overseas study situation during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. It also serves to provide further insight into the development of China’s college graduates based on data analytics gathered via the LinkedIn Big Data platform.

During the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic in late 2019/early 2020, China’s college graduates faced dismal employment prospects as the job market and opportunities within it dried-up. Fortunately, China’s relatively effective epidemic control measures allowed the nation to recover its hiring rates fairly quickly, with an annual growth rate of around 11 percent by the middle of June 2020, said the report.

China’s job market saw the worst downturn in February 2020, with job opportunities dropping as much as 35 percent compared to last year. Among all the sectors, consumer goods, manufacturing, and software and IT services sectors were hit hardest due to social distancing policies, immigration controls, and restrictions on global supply chains, while the health, remote education and legal industries were the least affected.

The job market began to see a slight recovery in March, with employment levels reaching the same levels as in 2019 as of May 2020.

However, challenges still remain, despite the relatively positive prospects that the data shows. A significant imbalance between supply and demand in the job market still remains. Industries such as transport and logistics, media and education are facing talent shortages, while manufacturing, software and IT services are experiencing fierce competition.

Liu Yongzhi, an official from the China International Talent Center at the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, said at the conference that China will strengthen investment in training and support of talents in technology fields, such as biosafety, quantum mechanics and blockchain, at the policy level in its 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) and 2035 long-term plan.

“Despite facing external pressure in the development of its high tech industry, China’s attitude of being open to global cooperation in technological and scientific research will not change, especially in the medical and COVID-19 vaccine related fields,” another government official at the conference, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Global Times.


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