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China Faces Tough Employment Task This Year
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China is still facing a tough employment task this year, given the emergence of more laid-off workers and new job-seekers, said Tian Chengping, minister of Labor and Social Security, on Tuesday.

Enterprises, under deepened reforms, will lay off more workers, who have difficulties to find new jobs, Tian said at a press conference held on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature.

Moreover, about 4.95 million students will graduate from universities to enter the job market this year and rural surplus laborers will continue to swarm into cities for work, Tian said.

As steps to alleviate the employment strain, the government will further boost economic development to create more jobs and carry out relevant fiscal, tax and financial policies to promote employment, he said.

The government will also strengthen training for all kinds of job seekers and help bridge contacts between job hunters and employers, he added.

The Chinese government has always attached great importance to the employment work due to the country's huge population.

Last year, more than 11.8 million urban residents got new jobs, hitting a record high, driven by a 10.7-percent GDP (gross domestic product) rise.

"We will try to help at least 9 million urbanites to find jobs this year," Tian said, adding Chinese cities will have 24 million new job seekers this year.

"To be more optimistic, we will strive to get 12 million urban people to find jobs, if calculating job positions left by new retirees," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency March 13, 2007)

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