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60 applicants compete for each gov't job on average
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A government job is still considered a plum post for university graduates and other Chinese job-seekers as the latest figures show 60 applicants would compete for each government job on average during an upcoming nationwide government recruitment.

Online applications for the 2008 national civil servant recruitment exam ended over the weekend, with the most popular position, a post with the Ministry of Agriculture, attracting more than 3,500 applicants, the Ministry of Personnel website revealed on Tuesday.

"More than 800,000 applicants passed the first evaluation and are going to attend a nationwide examination on Dec. 9," said a statement on the ministry website, which had no information on the number of overall online registrations for the exam.

Government jobs are closed to those with criminal records, sacked ex-civil servants, and those caught cheating in civil servants exams from 2005 to 2007, according to the ministry.

The competition is much more heated than last year when more than 530,000 applicants contested 12,700 jobs, 42 people competing for each job on average.

The fiercest competition this time is for posts with the Communist Party of China's central organs, where 162 people will compete for each post.

Weather bureau posts are the least popular. A total of 49 posts with local weather bureaus are open in regions such as Anhui, Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan, with no applicants.

In a cut-throat employment market, the civil service has become one of the most popular professions of the country because it offers a stable income, social status and excellent welfare insurance.

The written test includes two sessions, the administrative aptitude test(AAT) in the morning and the essay test in the afternoon, before a more competitive interview at the beginning of 2008.

China has been organizing civil servant recruitment examinations every year since 1994.

(Xinhua News Agency November 7, 2007)

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