Of China's 2.12 million university and college graduates in 2003, 70 percent had found jobs by September, said sources with China's Ministry of Education.
"This means our target of an employment rate no lower than that of 2002 has been achieved," an official of the ministry said Tuesday.
He said the achievement was hard-won considering the big growth in the number of graduates and the negative influence from the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic.
The number of graduates in 2003 grew by 46.2 percent, or 670,000, over 2002 as the effects of a large scale enrollment expansion scheme carried out a few years ago began to surface.
The number in 2004 will grow to 2.8 million, up 680,000 over 2003, according to information provided by the ministry.
The official said that to cope with the situation, the ministry and other government departments would strive to provide better employment service and create more job opportunities.
In 2002, the government promulgated numerous policies to encourage graduates to work in the western region, where talents are badly needed to transform chronic backwardness, and to work in grassroots units or launch their own businesses.
(Xinhua News Agency November 13, 2003)