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The 2017 Third Quarterly Review of Employment in China was Held Successfully at Renmin University of China

On October 27, 2017, 2017 Third Quarterly Review of Employment in China was successfully held by China Institute for Employment Research at Room 347 in Qiushi Building, Renmin University of China. Participants of the meeting included Peng Yongtao, Deputy Director of Population and Employment Statistics Department, National Bureau of Statistics, Guo Cheng, Division Chief of Employment Promotion Department, National Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, Shen Yingyan, General Manager of Human Resources Development Limited Company in Suzhou Industrial Park, Zhang Xiaoguang, General Manager of Human Resources Research and Development Center in Suzhou Industrial Park, HaoJianbin, Employment Research Director of Alibaba Group, Wang Yixin, Public Relations Supervisor of Zhilian Zhao Pin, Xian Weihua, Researcher of DidiChuxing policy institution, Ge Ling, General Manager of the Department of government affairs of, Hou Lin and Wang Penghui, researchers of 58. com, He Haoran, Associate Professor of Beijing Normal University, Zhang Chenggang, Ph.D. of Capital University of Economics and Business, Wu Qiang, Ph.D. of University of International Business and Economics, Shi Zhenzhen, Ph.D. of Central University of Finance and Economics, Professor Zeng Xiangquan, Director of China Institute for Employment Research (CIER), Professor of School of Labor and Human Resources (SLHR), Renmin University of China, and other researchers, Liu Erduo, Ding Dajian, Geng Lin, TuYongqian, Weng Qian etc. The meeting was hosted by Dr. Wang Fei, Associate Researcher of CIER and faculty of Labor Economics of SLHR.

For the theme report statement, CIER associate researcher Geng Lin delivered a speech entitled “The Analysis of 2017 Chinese Third Quarter Employment Situation--based on data from Zhilian Zhao Pin”. Influenced by the continuous macroeconomic growth, the number of recruiters increased slightly while the job applicants slightly dropped in the third quarter of 2017, bringing the CIER index up to 2.43, indicating that the employment situation is improved.

For industries, the extreme degree of CIER among different industries was more apparent in this quarter. The difference between the highest and lowest CIER indices raised from 26 times in the first quarter to 28 times in the third quarter. The CIER index of the Internet and e-commerce sector was 12.62, remained in the first place. The CIER index rankings of professional services / consulting industry improved significantly in this quarter, indicating that the development of modern service started to speed up. CIER indices for electrical / electric power / water conservancy, aerospace research and manufacturing, inspection / detection / certification and printing / packaging / papermaking industries remained low, and were mostly in the traditional manufacturing industries.

For occupations, the CIER Index was relatively high for the skilled workers/operators, transport services and community / resident / domestic services and sales. In addition, with the full liberalization of the second child policy, there was also a growing demand for domestic service industries, such as pension services and family care services in many cities. The CIER index rankings in community / resident / domestic services and sales still continued to rise significantly. For regions, the CIER index showed a decreasing trend in the eastern, central, western and northeastern regions, and the employment situation in northeastern China was improved.

For the tier of cities, the third quarter of 2017 CIER index showed an increasing trend in the first, new first, second and third tier cities. For the size of enterprises, the CIER index for large and medium-sized enterprises has declined, while there is an increase in CIER index of small and micro enterprises. For the nature of enterprises, the CIER index of private-owned enterprises is the highest, which is 1.68. In addition, CIER indices of joint-stock enterprises, joint ventures and state-owned enterprises are all above 1, indicating a relatively good employment situation. Affected by the international economic environment and the withdrawal of foreign-funded enterprises, the employment situation of wholly foreign-owned enterprises is still poor. Based on the above analysis, the report predicts the fourth quarter of 2017 CIER index will rise relative to the third quarter.

General manager Zhang Xiaoguang delivered a keynote speech entitled "Report on Human Resources Situation in Suzhou Industrial Park in the Third Quarter of 2017”. This report analyzed the human resources index and market data of Suzhou Industrial Park.It introduced the characteristics of the park's human resources market and the employment situation of the graduates and forecast the human resources of the park in the fourth quarter of 2017, estimating that the demand for labor would be higher. Enterprises with increasing or flat demand for employees will account for 85.7%, and only 14.3% of the overall enterprises will reduce that demand. In addition, from the perspective of the three major industries, the expected recruitment plans of manufacturing, service industries, and high-tech industries have increased over the same period as a whole in the fourth quarter of 2017, and the conflict between seasonal supply and demand is expected to increase as well.

Dr. Zhang Chenggang delivered a speech entitled “Platform-Based Employment and De-capacity Workers Placement: a Case Study of the Didi Platform”. This report introduced the background of the resettlement of de-capacity workers, the calculation of the total employment of de-capacity workers for mobile travel, and the characterization of de-capacity workers on Didi platform and the quality of platform-based employment. The research topic is whether DidiChuxing platform can help solve the problem of employment and placement of de-capacity workers.

According to the analysis of the questionnaire results and platform big data, the employment of workers in the Didi platform has an exponential upward trend. Meanwhile, the Didi platform has been playing a significant role in easing employment pressure in the provinces with severe economic downturn and urgent need to cut overcapacity. In addition, from the perspective of hourly income, flexibility of working hours, job stability and threshold to entry, the employment quality of the platform is higher than that of the traditional non-standard employment. In general, platform-based employment has created a large number of new job opportunities in the short term and accommodated the replacement of de-capacity workers. However, innovative mechanism design, including job security and social security, is still required in the long term.

Dr. Weng Qian delivered a speech entitled “Flexible Work and Willingness to Work: A Field Experiment”. This report proposes two research topics to explore: one is the impact of flexible work on the willingness to work of job seekers; the other one is on what cost job seekers are willing to get flexible-working rights. Based on these two topics, this report describes the experimental design of the environment, experimental conditions, processes, and sample selection. By analyzing experimental and non-experimental data, researchers have found that those enterprises endowing employees with both time flexibility (i.e., a decision on how long they work) and location flexibility (i.e., a decision on where they work) may have more applicants. Those results again prove that job seekers generally value the flexibility of work, and are willing to sacrifice some of their wages.

During the keynote speech and the discussion section, the leaders and experts conducted the extensive and in-depth discussions on the third quarter employment situations and the future development trends.

Peng Yongtao, deputy director of Population and Employment Statistics Department, National Bureau of Statistics, and Guo Cheng, division chief of Employment Promotion Department, National Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, commented and analyzed those reports on the basis of relevant works.

Shen Yingyan, general manager of Suzhou Industrial Park, shared the status of human resources in Suzhou Industrial Park and some research experience. In the second and third quarters of this year, Suzhou Industrial Park faces the shortage of both ordinary workers and skilled workers. In the campus recruiting, there is a problem that academic qualifications are not directly proportional to work efficiency in the park. Many of the students recruited from top-level colleges are not able to work efficiently. Therefore, recruitment will be developed in the universities of “211 project” or other sub-level institutions.In addition, the park is more likely to recruit undergraduates since they are more practical and more likely to adopt right attitude that may result in job stability in the future. Finally, through visiting some colleges and universities, she has also found that the expected salaries of graduates are rather high, for instance, the expected value of undergraduates has reached from 6,000 to 8,000 yuan per month, and master's from 10,000 to 12,000 yuan per month.

HaoJianbin, employment research director of Alibaba Group, introduced the status quo of NongcunTaobao and shared some views of new employment form. There are currently about 1,000 Taobao villages across the country at Alibaba's platform. The number of partners in NongcunTaobao reaches 30,000, providing approcimately one million jobs. The rapid growth of urban living costs and the acceleration of the pace of life have put a lot of pressure on young people.Many of them have begun returning to their hometown and starting their own businesses or finding jobs. Furthermore, he also shared his experience of investigating FreshHema at Shilibao in Beijing. As a benchmark of the new retail industry, FreshHema actively meets modern needs for quality of life, health, green and environmental protection. Its working environment and working atmosphere are fashionable, and its high quality of employment can attract many young people as well.

Hou Lin, researcher of, analyzed some new situations and trends in the current job market by using the data from Overall, the market demand for labor and compensation is steady to good. The leading role of the service sector in absorbing labor is further strengthened. Trading-up and the platform economy are more effective in promoting employment. Meanwhile, the attraction of manufacturing to blue-collar workers in the younger generation is declining. More and more after 90’s tends to choose service industries. Thus, the gap between ordinary workers and skilled workers has been further increased. According to the analysis results, most of the job seekers are in the large city agglomerations, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Pearl River Delta, the Yangtze River Delta and the city agglomerations in the middle reach of the Yangtze River. In addition, labor infiltration into sub-tier cities is also evident.

Wang Yixin, Public Relations Supervisor of Zhilian Zhao Pin, analyzed the employment behavior of college students and employment situation in different regions based on data from Zhilian platform. In the past, the number of resumes that college students delivered was about 30 to 40 times, but currently it was mostly 20 to 30 This might be because of the “slow employment situation” which has already emerged. Through the observation and calculation on the number of resumes received in a single position, the research found that the index of competition among first-tier cities was the highest, and the index of competition in new first-tier cities was also continuously rising, relevant to hukou policies and the subsidy policies for college students launched in the new first-tier cities recently. In addition, the high compensation, city-friendliness, and environmental experience of the new first-tier cities all have led to the higher sense of personal belonging among college students.

Xian Weihua, Researcher of DidiChuxing policy institution, introduced some specific situations of Didi platform to promote employment. The employees in the de-capacity enterprises join the Didi platform as drivers and may receive some subsidies to help them release their life pressures. From the regional distribution of the total employment of the platform, the employment scale of the eastern coastal provinces such as Guangzhou, Jiangsu, and Zhejiang is the largest. Among inland provinces, the employment in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia increase the most, indicating that the platform’s function of promoting employment has gradually taken effect in the inland region. From employment characteristics of the platform, drivers from the traditional manufacturing accounted for the highest proportion, and they are mostly males with big family to support. The overall employment quality of drivers on the platform is relatively high, reflecting that the harder and longer they work, the higher income they obtain. As a whole, drivers are satisfied with its the platform, mechanism and system.

Ding Dajian, researcher of China Institute for Employment Research (CIER), emphasized the importance of research data. In his opinion, with the in-depth cooperation between China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) and Alibaba Group, Zhilian Zhao Pin and Didi platform, current researchers can obtain much more abundant and accurate data to analyze the employment situation. However, when using the research data, we must find out its source and make a judgment on its reliability to ensure scientific and valuable results.

Liu Erduo, researcher of China Institute for Employment Research (CIER), shared his ideas on the current employment situation. He believed that we should observe  the economic situation and the employment situation respectively. Employment situation is not only affected by the economy, but also by labor supply and demand as well as other comprehensive factors. He also believed that the rapid development of China's express delivery industry is mainly affected by two factors, including low cost of labor, and city-agglomeration. The aggregation of the first-tier cities has been completed, while the economic effects of that in the second, third and fourth-tier cities have not yet been completed. Therefore, there is still the space for the development of express delivery industry. The development of e-commerce and express industry shares some similarities, and it may reach a point of saturation in the future. In addition, the employment situation of college students is closely related to the development of high-tech industries. If the high-tech industries develop rapidly, the employment situation of college students will be improved as well.

He Haoran, Associate Professor of Beijing Normal University, shared some views from his research. We can make the respondents decide in the real world to reflect the characteristics of his behavior by adopting some experiment methods. In this way, we can obtain more accurate and valid data in the case where the subjects are not informed. Currently, both supply and demand is constantly changing. In the past, few companies would find it difficult to recruit staff, which is totally opposite to the present situation. It is an issue worth pondering whether it is a short-term phenomenon that only a region or an industry is being confronted with, or it will gradually turn to a more general problem.

Finally, Professor Zeng Xiangquan gave a summary of the seminar. Firstly, according to the new requirements laid down on employment in the reports of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the study on the quality of employment should be further strengthened, with the measurement of employment quality being paid close attention. It means that we should explore the statistical indicators and evaluation system of employment quality.Secondly, under the background of new economy and the rapid development of new form of industries, it is necessary to explore not only how many new jobs that have been created, but also how many traditional jobs have been destroyed due to the new economy. In addition, it is important to do quantitative research and comparison of these two forms of jobs to provide a scientific basis for the formulation of future national employment policy.Thirdly, given the current situation in China, the improvement of employment quality depends on higher employee labor productivity. To this end, we must unleash potential development through such measures as the in-depth reform of the education and training system, and greatly enhance the staff's ability to create value.At last, he emphasized the importance for the government to improve existing employment statistics. He believed that big data have advantages of strong timeliness and high objectiveness. Therefore, the government should take those advantages of big data to better improve the existing employment statistics system.

Edited By: Wang Rui

Nawakitphaitoon, K.

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