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Labor Ministry to Set up Employment Service Network
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security said over the weekend that it will set up a community-based employment service network in some pilot cities within the next two or three years.

The market-oriented employment system will include job recommendations, training and the export of labor services.

According to a document released by the ministry, labor and social security departments at all levels should include the development of labor markets in the overall local economic and social development plan with the aim of expanding employment.

The document was issued to provincial-level labor and social security departments across the country to guide their work.

As the world's most populous country with a population of over 1.29 billion people, China has a huge workforce, with about 60 percent in rural areas.

The registered unemployment rate in cities and towns was 3.6 percent last year, according to a report delivered by Zeng Peiyan, minister of the State Development Planning Commission, at last month's National People's Congress annual session.

Through the implementation of the ministry's employment service, training and subsidies will be provided to those who have difficulty in finding a job.

The ministry also promised to provide more convenient services to unemployed people so that they can receive training or unemployment benefit payments with less hassle.

At the same time, labor administration departments at all levels should map out the major tasks and help job seekers, according to the ministry plan.

After conducting the pilot programs, the ministry aims to achieve obvious progress within two or three years in building an employment service network at street and community level with the help of information technology.

The ministry said it also plans to streamline the administrative procedures relating to the issuing of unemployment insurance payouts and the procedure to register as unemployed.

Another possibility mooted by the ministry is a national employment service website that would connect lots of Chinese cities via the Internet, with the aim of providing job seekers with useful information.

(China Daily April 1, 2002)

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