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Civil services draw 1 million candidates
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About 1 million candidates have applied for the 2009 national civil services examination, an increase of 25 percent over this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has said.

Altogether, 134 institutions directly under the central authorities and related sectors are likely to recruit more than 13,500 candidates next year, about 10 percent more than this year.

The candidates have to be below 35 years, and will write the exam on Nov 30. Successful candidates will be called for interviews after next year's Spring Festival.

The ministry accepted applications for "China's hottest exam" from 8 am on October 15 to Saturday midnight.

"Fresh and would-be university and college graduates comprise the majority of candidates for the civil services exams, which have gained popularity in the past three or four years," said Yu Tianxiao, an exam consultant with the Zhonggong Education Group.

"The stable nature of civil services jobs, good welfare treatment and the social status of civil servants have been attracting a rising number of applicants," Yu said. "The job market has been tough for college graduates in recent years, and more people tend to find a 'rice bowl' in government organs."

Xiao Zhou, a major in journalism from Zhejiang University of Technology, has applied to take the exam.

"Many of my schoolmates who graduated last year have not yet found a job. Some of them have applied for the civil services exam, too, because of the tough job market," Xiao said.

The Ministry of Education says about 30 percent college students who graduated in summer last year could not find a job till the end of 2007.

About 73 people will compete for one job position in the exam for 2009, the ministry said.

(China Daily October 27, 2008)

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