This year’s Chinese university graduates have recently faced the most challenging job market in history. The instability of the Chinese economy has severely affected their job opportunities.

Youth unemployment usually peaks during graduation season, around July and August. According to statistics, the official surveyed unemployment rate for urban workers was 5.4% on average for the June-to-September period. Unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds was more than triple that at 19%.

However, this data omits some groups of workers who have not been involved in the market for more than three months, indicating that the reality could be worse.

The job supply is shrinking, and Covid-19 lockdowns have forced millions of firms to shut their doors. Moreover, regulatory clampdowns on the tech, property and private tutoring sectors have prompted massive layoffs.

According to the State Administration for Market Regulation, in 2021, Over 13 million market entities, including corporations, partnerships, self-employed people, and households, were deregistered in China. This number is up nearly 30% year-on-year.

Internet giants have been hit with enormous fines for monopolistic behavior. The real estate sector was in a severe crisis, and companies slowed hiring and implemented waves of layoffs.

According to the China Institute for Employment Research, companies’ demand for fresh college graduates in the third quarter dropped 12.2% year-on-year. At the same time, the total number of such job applicants soared by 91.3%.

Under the stress of the job market, many graduates have lowered their expectations.

Many young people prioritize stability, dropping dreams of high-flying private sector jobs and choosing safe careers in the state sector. Some graduates opt for flexible employment.

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