Civil sector job applications in Shanghai decline yet again

Updated: 2016-02-27 02:58

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai(China Daily USA)

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The number of people applying for government jobs in Shanghai has dropped for the third consecutive year from 48,000 in 2014 to 37,000 this year, according to the Shanghai Administration of Civil Service.

Based on the latest figures from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, the total number of applicants for government jobs in the country had also fallen from 2.19 million in 2014 to 2.05 million last year.

"The main reason behind this decline is that annual bonuses have been affected due to the anti-corruption drive," said Zhou Haiwang, deputy director of the Institute of Urban and Population Development Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Zhou added that a number of public servants have also resigned due to factors such as limited promotion opportunities. One such individual is Zhao Chen, who graduated from the elite Shanghai Jiao Tong University with a master's degree. He resigned one year after joining a government market watchdog in 2013.

"There was not too much to learn at work and I was afraid that my salary would fall behind my former classmates after five years," said Zhao, who decided to enter the real estate industry instead.

According to a survey released by leading job website, civil servants were the most active job hoppers as of April 2015, with 30 percent more of them having left their positions compared to the previous year.

Some officials have expressed their concern over the fewer number of applicants from elite universities in the coming years, and plans are already being formulated to address the problem.

"We're mulling over how to attract top talent. One of the moves could be to offer schemes that allow top graduates from elite universities to fast track their careers in the government," said an anonymous official.

Good career prospects and manageable job pressure are currently the main factors that youths consider when applying for government jobs in Shanghai, according to recruitment experts.

In terms of the most over-subscribed jobs, the post of a clerk at the Lujiazui financial zone in Pudong New Area topped the list with 15 people signing up for one position. Similar positions at the general office of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government and the general office of the committee for Shanghai's political advisory body took second and third place respectively.

The most popular job positions are those in government departments that applicants perceive to be prestigious and have less stressful environments, such as the municipal government's general office, the tourism board and the development and reform commission.

Lu Yuan, who will graduate with a bachelor's degree in law from Shanghai International Studies University in June, applied for a position at the city's tax administration office.

"I worked as an intern in a law office (in the private sector) for several months and the work pressure was overwhelming. I believe that the workload for public servants is not as heavy and they can offer me a better work-life balance," said Lu, a 22-year-old native of Jiangsu province.

In contrast, the least popular job positions were those in prisons and drug rehabilitation centers.