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Employment Challenge for Shanghai

Half a million farmers have lost land to urbanization campaigns in Shanghai city, making it more difficult than ever to create jobs for rural laborers flocking to this metropolis, China Daily reported Thursday.
According to a report issued by the Shanghai Statistics Bureau, the number of migrant workers here will increase from the current 3.75 million to 4.5 million within the next five years.
By the end of last month, the city's registered unemployed numbered 268,000 people, lower than the 4.6 percent the city recorded earlier this year.
But a recent survey by the Municipal People's Congress into some less developed districts found those who need a job surpasses 10 percent in some communities.
Many people have been asked to retire early, but have received too little in the way of pensions from their former work units.
"These people are not included into the city's registered unemployment statistics," said Wang Yaoxi of the municipal People's Congress, who is a survey leader.
"They are desperate for jobs to support their families."
The employment rate for university students graduating this year is about 90.5 percent.
That means about 10,000 students who left school in June haven't yet found jobs.
The Shanghai employment situation remains tough although the city added a total of 567,000 new jobs through August, exceeding the target of 500,000 jobs it set earlier this year for all of 2004.
Men in their 40s and women over 36 years old make up the majority of the city's unemployed, according to the survey.
"Among the 3,740 jobless people the survey covered, some 77 percent fall within that age group," said Dai Jinxiang, with the local People's Congress.
The survey lasted four months and took samples from 21 different neighborhoods in the city's urban communities. Apart from ages, education attainment also influences job stability. About 89 percent of jobless people said they had not completed college while many have only attained junior middle school educations.
About 54 percent said they had no income for the previous month when the survey was conducted.
To make matters worse, the survey found spouses of these unemployed were not well off either.
One of the biggest worries of these families was how to pay tuition fees for their children, since many are in the age group with youngsters pursuing high school studies.
Congress deputies had mentioned the importance of further stimulating the city's economy. Some 53 percent of the new posts were created this year by the private companies, Dai said.
The city will work hard to meet all the targets set early this year including to control the registered unemployment rate within 4.6 percent and to expand the social insurance system to at least 2 million migrant workers, Zhu Junyi, director of Shanghai Labor and Social Insurance Administrative Bureau, said.

(China Daily October 21, 2004))

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