A job crisis is looming for China’s youth as entry-level positions are slowly disappearing across industries ranging from the tech sector to new energy vehicles amid the junta. This country is applying a tough Zero Covid policy.
Reports from local media and official statistics are showing a rapid increase in the number of job offers being withdrawn. This is a phenomenon that emerges only when there is a sudden and significant decline in major economic fundamentals.
Jade Jiang, from Hunan province, is an algorithm engineer who will graduate next month. She said she had a clear career path in January after signing a tripartite contract with the school and Zhuanzhuan, an electronics company based in Beijing, which owns a commercial app for purchase. used goods. The company, which calls itself a “unicorn,” is a startup with a valuation of more than $1 billion, so Jiang has no reason to doubt its credibility.
But that changed in early May, when she received a phone call informing her that the position was no longer available. The company offered her 8,000 yuan (about $1,197) in compensation, but Jiang’s actual damages would be much higher because the recruiting season with the school’s support had ended.
“I was confused when I heard the news”, she said. “I became desperate and would sign up for anything on job applications.”
Jiang’s story is not uncommon. The Chinese media has reported that many graduates are having their job offers withdrawn, especially in the new energy vehicle industry. On the Chinese open-source platform Github, a document listed at least 36 recent graduates who had their job offers, offers or tripartite contracts cancelled.
This practice is becoming commonplace, despite the existence of a strict system of employment contracts designed to protect graduates. Accordingly, potential employers often have to sign a tripartite contract with schools and graduates after making an offer. If an offer is withdrawn, the company must pay a fine and suffer reputational damage.
Lawyer Gao Wangnan said such tripartite contracts are subject to China’s Civil Code rather than labor law, so it is more stringent and potential employers extremely avoid violations.
China’s economic situation has suddenly reversed this year, partly due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic that broke out in Shanghai since late March. The event disrupted the plans of many companies and caused loss of life. business confidence in many industries, from consumer goods to electric cars. For example, not a single new car was sold in Shanghai in April, while sales of new energy vehicles across China fell 38.3 percent in April from a month earlier.
Potential employers have been trying to control costs as logistics have been disrupted and sales have fallen, and this has hurt the prospects of new graduates. A recent graduate, who did not want to be named, said he signed a tripartite contract last December to join Li Auto, an emerging Chinese electric vehicle maker, as an algorithm engineer. machine learning. At the end of April, he was informed that his original position was no longer available and that he had to be “re-evaluated” for another position. But he did not pass the new interview, which allowed Li Auto to terminate the contract by paying one month’s salary as compensation.
According to the student, the amount was not enough to cover the impact of termination. “It is nearly impossible to find a job before graduation,” I said. “I need to wait until the fall hiring period, which means I will be out of work for a few months.”
Li Auto did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Canceled job offers are pointing to a dismal summer for many students, out of China’s 10.76 million university graduates this year. For the first time in more than two decades, the number of graduates without job offers may significantly outnumber those with job offers. While the employment situation for university graduates has been inherently difficult in recent years, 2022 is being billed as the worst year in a long time.
According to a leaked document from the East China University of Political Science and Law, a top law school in Shanghai, only one in five graduates found a job as of early May. told the press that the leaked data did not represent the actual situation, but did not provide any other figures.
The country’s youth unemployment rate between 16 and 24 years old hit 18.2% in April. Lu Feng, a professor at Peking University, said the youth unemployment rate in China was already high. than in the US and EU. The country’s official urban unemployment rate was 6.1% in April, up 0.3% from March.
China’s technology sector, a major contributor to job creation over the past decade, has cut staff. From giants like Alibaba to Tencent have limited new hires amid a weaker economy.
The problem of youth unemployment is being noticed by the Beijing government. China’s National People’s Congress enacted support measures in May to help young people start their own businesses, as well as support for small and medium-sized enterprises to attract and create jobs for young people. graduate students.
Jiang, an algorithmic engineer, previously only accepted interviews with tech companies, but has recently begun to look beyond that. This week, she received an offer from a state-owned enterprise in her hometown, Hunan province.
“It’s not a tech company, but it’s a good choice for my current situation.”