SCIO press conference on employment, social security

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Ms. Wang Xiaoping, minister of human resources and social security

Mr. Li Zhong, vice minister of human resources and social security

Mr. Yu Jiadong, vice minister of human resources and social security


Ms. Shou Xiaoli, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


March 2, 2023

Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is the seventh briefing in the series "Embarking on the New Journey — A Government Perspective." Today, we are joined by Ms. Wang Xiaoping, minister of human resources and social security. Ms. Wang will brief you on the situation concerning employment and social security, and take your questions. Also joining us are two vice ministers of human resources and social security, Mr. Li Zhong and Mr. Yu Jiadong.

Now, I'll give the floor to Ms. Wang for a brief introduction.

Wang Xiaoping:

Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I'd like to thank you for your long-term efforts in communicating social conditions, public opinions and beneficial policies in a sincere and responsible manner. We also appreciate your support for the work involving human resources and social security. At today's press conference, my colleagues and I will exchange ideas with you on the efforts concerning employment and social security.

Employment and social security issues concern the lives of all families. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has taken improving people's wellbeing as the ultimate goal of socioeconomic development. It has acted on the people-centered development philosophy, and specified an approach to improving people's wellbeing, namely ensuring basic needs, prioritizing key areas, improving institutional arrangements, and guiding public expectations. A series of major decisions and plans have been made regarding employment and social security, and the employment-first strategy has been implemented. This has ensured our social security work in better helping those most in need, building a tightly woven safety net, and establishing the necessary institutions. As a result, historic achievements have been made, and people's sense of gain, happiness and security has become more sufficient, better-protected and sustainable.

In the past decade, the proactive employment policy system with Chinese characteristics has been consistently enriched and developed; the pro-employment mechanism has been constantly improved; and a working pattern has been formed featuring autonomous jobseekers, adjustable market mechanisms, and government support for employment and entrepreneurship. Relatively sufficient employment has been achieved in China, a developing country home to over 1.4 billion people. The central government has made employment a priority in its endeavor to ensure stability on six key fronts (employment, finance, foreign trade, inbound investment, domestic investment, and market expectations) and maintain security in six key areas (jobs, daily living needs, food and energy, industrial and supply chains, the interests of market players, and the smooth functioning of grassroots government). As a result, employment-first policies and related supporting measures continue to be strengthened; business startups are boosting employment to greater effect; and the employment service system continues to be improved. The number of jobs in urban areas has risen significantly. The number of newly created jobs in urban areas averaged 13 million per year. The employment situation among key groups, such as college graduates, migrant workers and people having difficulty securing employment, was stable. The number of migrant workers who have shaken off poverty remained above 30 million. In addition, the employment structure continues to be optimized. The employment pattern in urban and rural areas has seen a historic change. Over 60% of employees worked in urban areas, and 48% of employees worked in tertiary industries. Flexible employment and other new forms in this regard have developed in a well-regulated manner and become a new growth driver for jobs. It is fair to say that the quality of employment has been steadily improved; workers' vocational skills continue to be enhanced; employees' income has seen stable growth; and their rights and interests have been effectively protected.

In the past decade, the construction of China's social security system has entered a phase of rapid development, and a fully functional social security system with distinctive Chinese features that covers the largest population in the world has been established. China's social security system has seen the most intensive reform efforts and the fastest development during this period. The central government has formulated and implemented the overall plan to reform and improve the basic old-age insurance scheme. It has realized national unified management for basic old-age insurance funds for enterprise employees. It has created a unified national basic old-age insurance system for both urban and rural residents. It has also brought government office and public institution pension schemes into line with enterprise schemes. These have further improved the nation's multi-level and multi-pillar endowment insurance system. The insurance system for unemployment and work-related injuries has been enhanced. China has worked further to ensure that everyone has access to social security. A total of 1.05 billion people have been covered by basic old-age insurance, 224 million by unemployment insurance, and 290 million by work-related injury insurance. Social security funds have also seen stable operation with their management continuously strengthened. In 2022, the revenue and expenditure of the three social security funds totaled 13.7 trillion yuan, and social security-related payments were made on time and in full. A five-level social security management and service network has been basically established. We continue to expand the application scope of social security cards, and related management and services have become well-regulated, standardized and IT-oriented. As a result, a social security system aimed at full coverage, ensuring basic needs, developing multi-level services and achieving sustainability has been strengthened in an all-round way. The basic lives and diverse needs of the people have been guaranteed in a more reliable manner.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress put forward the mission and tasks to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Aiming to improve people's well-being and raise their quality of life, it emphasized that employment is the most basic component of the people's well-being and that the social security system provides a safety net for people's livelihoods and helps ensure social stability. In the context of implementing the employment-first strategy and improving the social security system, it made special deployments and defined goals, requirements and tasks. Human resources and social security authorities at all levels across the country will uphold the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in order to properly understand the connotations and requirements of the mission to advance the Chinese path to modernization. We will thoroughly study and understand General Secretary Xi Jinping's important expositions on the work related to employment and social security. We will prioritize implementing an employment-first strategy to promote high-quality and full employment. We will also carry out in-depth social security system reforms to build a sound, sustainable and multi-tiered social security system that covers the entire population in both urban and rural areas and performs in a fair, integrated, reliable and well-regulated way. We will unswervingly implement the new deployments and requirements of the 20th CPC National Congress on the work related to employment and social security through concrete actions.

This year marks the first year to fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress. The Central Economic Work Conference has clearly listed the major tasks for the year. We will earnestly implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to ensure the implementation of all tasks, ensure overall stable employment, and promote the high-quality and sustainable development of social security. With such efforts, we will strive to get the work on employment and social security off to a good start.

Next, my colleagues and I would like to exchange ideas with you. Thank you.

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