Saturday, March 21, 2009

Jobless China graduates mired in gloom amid slowdown

Big crowds at job fairs!

Source: Reuters

Down-at-heel Xiaojiahe in Beijing's university district seems an unlikely haven for China's aspiring elite, but its reeking alleys and dank rooms offer a low-budget bolthole for graduates battling to find work.

"It's not the best living environment here," said Qi Shaoguang, a 22-year-old law graduate from China's dustbowl province of Henan, as he looked past a row of shabby brick huts. "People who find a good job tend to move out pretty quickly."

Qi shares a 10 square meter (about 100 sq ft) room in Xiaojiahe with an unemployed friend and a grimy public toilet with dozens of other tenants.

He is one of 1.2 million Chinese college graduates seeking work in a labor market that was already limping from years of bungled policy making before being almost crippled by the global financial crisis.

He will jostle for scarce jobs with another 6.1 million students set to graduate in the summer and untold numbers of skilled professionals already laid off in Chinese cities amid slumping growth.

Pretty much the same everywhere now. People getting laid off, people looking for jobs that are not in their field. They say a person in North American changes careers an average of 7 times in their life. In China, people expect to do one thing for a very long time.

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