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Competition for Civil Service Jobs Continues

The deadline for final year university students to apply for next year's civil service intake was midnight on Friday, and the Ministry of Personnel said on Sunday that 380,000 had been selected to sit exams for 10,000 vacancies in 97 central government departments.


Students had been able to apply online since October 15, and demand was high despite there only being one job for every 38 examinees.


China Daily reported today that stability, less pressure and social status, as well as housing subsidies and medical allowances, continued to make civil service careers desirable despite higher wages being available in joint-ventures.


Cao Kai, majoring in international journalism at the Communication University of China, told China Daily yesterday that 80 percent of his classmates have signed up for the 2006 national examination for civil servants.


"Civil service seems a good choice given the current tough employment situation," said Cao.


"I'm not sure whether I will like the job," he added, "but given the fierce competition in the job market, I just want to have a try like many other people."


Wang Qian, who began working for China Insurance Regulatory Commission as a civil servant last year, said she believed being a civil servant is particularly suitable for female students.


"All of my friends and my parents think I should be a civil servant because the job is stable and without too much pressure," she said.


Liu Xirui, professor at the Beijing-based National School of Administration, told Oriental Morning Post yesterday that the continued demand is related to the material benefits and social status that civil servants enjoy due to their existing administrative powers.


Liu said this is likely to remain the case, as there are still only limited vacancies and changes to the powers of civil servants will take a long time.


More than 4 million students are expected to graduate from university next July. The national examination for civil servants was introduced in 1994, and the number of applicants has risen every year.


(China Daily November 1, 2005)

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