Chinese Graduates Recruited for Rural Work
Liu Hao has signed on for three years as a cun guan, or assistant to the Communist Party secretary and village head of Song Peng Village, more than 60 kilometers, or 37 miles, northeast of Beijing. He’s among some 20,000 people who began working as assistants and teachers this year in the program, which was created in 2006. The government wants to boost the total to 100,000 by 2012 and is offering incentives such as help repaying student loans.
The opportunity appeals to some young people who face a grim employment situation. China’s growth has slowed for five consecutive quarters, and its 9 percent third-quarter expansion was the weakest in five years. Last month the World Bank forecast growth next year at 7.5 percent, which would be the slowest pace in almost two decades.
An estimated 6.1 million new graduates will enter the job market in 2009, joining 4 million from previous years who are still looking for work, Zhang Xiaojian, the deputy minister of human resources and social security, said Nov. 20. The unemployment rate for these young people is more than 12 percent, triple the official urban rate, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said in a report released Monday.