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City Life - University News
Written by Hou Jing
Chinese University Graduates on a job fairXiao Zhang, aged 22, a college graduate in Xi’an, is just out of a job market. She looks depressed and exhausted. Like many graduates from the countryside, Xiao Zhang hopes she will be able to stay in a big city like Xi’an after graduation. However, the future of landing a teaching position in a middle-school in the city is bleak for the English major. It is the sixth time she has ever been to a “talent market”. But her talent is still waited to be found out.

Actually there are millions of students who are in the same boat with Xiao Zhang. The job-hunting season usually starts in November for college graduates. Each year after Chinese lunar Spring Festival, they make a high-speed rush toward desirable jobs. However, in the spring of 2009, the situation is harsher than ever.

As the economy worsens, the number of employed college graduates in the season has hit record low. According to Xiao Zhang, in her grade, only eight students out of forty-nine have signed employment contracts by the middle of March, 2009, which is less than 20%, compared to over 70% the same time last year in her department. Those lucky ones are mostly male students. Straight-A girl students have to face even more of picky eyes and strict selection than their male counterparts.

In Shaanxi province there will be about 248000 students graduating from all sorts of colleges, universities or institutes. Together with the unemployed students of last year, the total number is over 300000. Most of them are now in Xi’an. Based on the statistics in, only around 40000 job positions are available in the city. The competition here is incredibly fierce.

The global financial crisis cuts its way through to inland cities like Xi’an, with the same strength as it does anywhere else in the world. Some firms or companies downsize staff or have to shut down at all. Only a few keep recruiting plans and the pay offered by them is barely adequate. One medium-sized company offers graduates about 1000RMB per month by which a young person can hardly support himself.

Since there are more people and fewer vacancies, the standard for hiring employees soars in some work units. Take Xiao Zhang’s case as an example. In the beginning she is happy to see English teachers are wanted in several middle schools in the job market. However, when she gets closer to these employers, all she hears is that they are looking for qualified postgraduates.

Is there a way out of the difficulty for Xiao Zhang? The girl says she is a bit disappointed but she does not lose heart. She will keep hunting for a job. And at the same time, another priority is preparation for her thesis. “It seems I will have to focus on my thesis right now. About the job, I will wait and see. My father tells me I still have one choice, that is, to go back home and teach in a middle school in my village” she says.

Our valuable Editor Hou Jing has been with us since Friday, 06 March 2009.

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0 #1 Andreas 2009-11-10 02:15
Very nice and insightful article! thanks!

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