China Encourages College Graduates to Work in Villages as Urban Unemployment Rises

China has advised college graduates to go to work in the countryside as youth unemployment in cities reaches historic highs.

A joint statement issued last week by the ministries of education, finance, civil affairs, human resources, and social security, also urged local governments to attract college graduates to work as village officials.

According to the joint statement, the government would provide tax advantages and loans to college graduates who launch businesses that help rural communities.

Existing small businesses in villages that hire college graduates will receive similar benefits, particularly in professions like cleaning and elderly care.

The government has urged people to seek work in the country’s vast but underdeveloped countryside on several occasions in recent years.

When the first coronavirus outbreak rocked China’s economy in July 2020, officials also encouraged college graduates to relocate to rural areas rather than congregate in cities and compete for limited job possibilities.

According to the most current government statistics, the urban unemployment rate for those aged 16 to 24 reached an all-time high of 18.2 percent in May. For this year, the statistic did not include new college graduates.

China exclusively collects data on employment in cities.

In the first half of this year, the world’s second-largest economy slowed dramatically, resulting in fewer urban employment openings.

China’s broad Covid lockdowns have wreaked havoc on small firms, which are a vital source of employment.

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