- The situation of manual jobs is almost the worst since 2016
- The jobs that decreased the most are related to property and construction
Hiring activities for China’s smallest companies were near a record low last month, underscoring how the slump due to a property recession and Covid Zero controls is affecting companies that are the backbone of the economy.
The Blue Collar employment index for small and medium-sized enterprises, which are mainly in manufacturing and services, showed little improvement in the third quarter after hitting a record low of 0.3 in June, according to the Beijing-based China Employment Research Institute. That means there are more than three times as many applicants as jobs available.
The index “reflects declining demand for hiring in manufacturing and services due to the economic downturn,” said Zeng Xiangquan, head of the institute that compiled the data. The recent drop is a sharp reversal of the situation in late 2020 and early 2021 when the index rose as factories struggled to hire enough workers to meet growing foreign orders for Chinese goods during the pandemic.
The index is compiled based on data from the job posting website 58.com Inc., which starts in 2016.
Nationwide data showed the employment situation worsened in September, with the surveyed unemployment rate rising to 5.5%, while the youth unemployment rate was nearly 18%, according to data released earlier this week.
Covid and Housing
With housing slumping now lasting more than a year, jobs related to the real estate and construction industries showed the biggest declines in the third quarter compared to last year. Job openings for construction supervisors fell 94% from a year earlier, while posts for general construction workers, heating and air conditioning mechanics, and forklift operators plummeted more than 80%, according to the index.
That’s a change from the second quarter when major cities like Shanghai and Shenzhen went into lockdowns and jobs like subway and bus workers, shop assistants, and coffee baristas saw the biggest drops.
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