The government will take concrete measures to boost and expand employment, focusing on college graduates, veterans and laid-off and relocated workers, as was decided on Wednesday at the State Council's executive meeting, chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
"Maintaining steady employment is of primary importance for China's economic development and is the foremost livelihood issue," Li said, "With the economy looking up in recent years, employment has expanded steadily. Nevertheless, employment must stay high on the government's agenda to see steady creation of new jobs and improvement in the employment structure."
New urban employment has been running at a high level in recent years. According to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, 6.13 million urban jobs were added between January and May, an increase of 140,000 from a year earlier and setting a record.
It was emphasized at Wednesday's meeting that considering the challenges and uncertainties China faces on the employment front, government departments at all levels must remain focused on their employment tasks and take multipronged measures to fulfill them.
The government will closely monitor the employment situation in key regions and among major groups, and make targeted plans to forestall potential problems.
The transformation of government functions will be deepened to improve the business environment and ease corporate burdens. Policy incentives will be introduced to encourage companies to keep their payrolls stable.
Better and more targeted services will be provided under the program to upgrade the nationwide initiative of business startups and innovation. More measures will be taken to support flexible employment and job creation in new forms of industries and the services sector to help more market entities survive and thrive.
Priority will be given to the employment of college graduates, veterans and laid-off workers. Vocational training will be intensified to better equip these groups for seeking jobs. And migrant workers will receive better services in landing jobs.
Local governments were urged at the meeting to earnestly fulfill their employment responsibilities as a top priority and pool efforts of all stakeholders to boost employment.
"No jobs means no wealth creation and possibly less social stability," Li said, "All government departments must live up to their responsibility and make employment plans for the remainder of this year and the next. No one should take this issue lightly."
He said institutional transaction costs should be further reduced to cut labor costs and lighten corporate burdens, enabling them to hire more and boost economic growth.
"A multipronged approach will be adopted to catalyze entrepreneurship and innovation across the country," Li said. "Efforts will be made to expand the channels and opportunities for flexible employment, and priority groups including college graduates, veterans and laidoff workers will receive more employment guidance, training and support."