China's 2021 goals for job creation, inflation show country ready for post-epidemic development: experts
Published: Mar 05, 2021 09:23 AM Updated: Mar 05, 2021 10:01 AM
CPI Photo:Unsplash

CPI Photo:Unsplash

China is planning to create 11 million jobs in 2021, the 2021 Government Work Report said on Friday, which analysts said suggests that the country's job policy will steer toward the post-pandemic era as the COVID-19 situation in the world's second-largest economy is gradually brought under control. 

The report was delivered by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Friday to the opening of the annual session of the National People's Congress, China's top legislative body.

Graphic: GT

Graphic: GT

Analysts said the goal of about 11 million jobs, compared with the 9 million target set for 2020, indicates that China has officially entered the post-epidemic period, and government policy will also gradually normalize.

The country also targets a surveyed urban unemployment rate of around 5.5 percent in the work report.

"We will work to keep the employment situation stable, provide adequate fiscal, tax, and financial policy support to businesses that do not cut jobs or only cut a small number of them," said the work report.

Last year, China managed to create 11.86 million new jobs, significantly higher than the 9 million target, despite extreme challenges amid the pandemic.

"Due to the complicated situation in 2020, the central government launched a series of special support policies to ease pressure on the job market, for instance, expanding graduate enrollment and civil service recruitment," Li Chang'an, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics' School of Public Administration, told the Global Times. 

"However, these policies may gradually be rolled back as China has entered a new development phase, adding to the difficulty for the job market," said the professor. 

"It's also a quite conservative target compared with previous years, when China normally set its urban job target at around 12 to 13 million, as negative impact from the pandemic will still linger for a while," Dong Dengxin, director of the Financial Securities Institute at Wuhan University of Science and Technology, told the Global Times on Friday.

The pressure on employment this year is unabated, said Zhang Jinan, head of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, on February 27.

The number of new entrants to the urban workforce in 2021 is predicted to be about 15 million, including 9.09 million college graduates, a new high, according to the ministry.

Li warned that uncertainties in the domestic and global markets amid the pandemic will remain major challenges for China's job market.

China to keep inflation at around 3% in 2021. Graphic: GT

China to keep inflation at around 3% in 2021. Graphic: GT

Also in the Government Work Report, China said that it would keep the inflation rate at 3 percent for the year, compared with the 3.5 percent in 2020.

Analysts said a higher CPI target could help the country balance priorities to stabilize livelihoods and leave sufficient room for monetary policy, while the lower inflation target set for this year indicates a prudent economic policy. 

"This year's inflation growth will still largely depend on the price of pork, which could still remain unstable," Dong said.

For all of last year, the CPI rose 2.5 percent year-on-year, down from 2.7 percent in the first 11 months, staying within the government's annual target of around 3.5 percent.