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China – Number of jobseekers on the rise, but job vacancies fall during first quarter of 2018

23 April 2018

After the Chinese New Year holiday in February, the number of job seekers jumped in this busiest season for job hopping in China, meanwhile, job openings declined over the previous quarter, according to a report from Zhaopin Limited and the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) at Renmin University of China.

The report showed that the CIER index dropped sharply to 1.91 in the first quarter of 2018, which means there were 1.91 job vacancies for each unique job seeker. The CIER index in the first quarter was far below the record high of 2.91 in the fourth quarter of 2017, but kept at the same level compared with first quarter of 2017.

Meanwhile, Zhaopin's data showed that total online recruitment demand in China rose 17% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2018.

Among sectors, the intermediary services industry became the best-performing sector in the first quarter of 2018 with a CIER index of 6.28. The demand in intermediary service increased by 12.7% in the first quarter over the previous quarter.

The worst-performing sector was the energy/mineral/mining/smelting sector with a 0.61 CIER index.

In the first quarter of 2018, Eastern China recorded the highest CIER index score with 1.58, followed by 1.40 for Central China and 1.19 for Western China. Even though the CIER indexes for these regions declined from the previous quarter, they were steady compared to the first quarter of last year.

However, the labor market in Northeast China continued to deteriorate in first the quarter with CIER index dropping to 0.89, below the breakpoint of 1, which means there were fewer job vacancies than job seekers in the quarter.

The CIER index was higher in smaller cities than that in large cities in the first quarter of 2018. Meanwhile, in the first quarter of 2018, large-sized companies had the highest CIER index of 1.91, followed by 1.27 for micro-sized companies and 1.01 for medium-sized companies.

Zhaopin added that the labour market competition for job seekers is expected to ease and the CIER index is likely to go up slightly in the second quarter of 2018.

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