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June 14, 2011

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Non-local graduates quitting the city

CUI Yi, a 28-year-old Liao-ning Province native, finally decided to quit Shanghai after working in the city for almost three years, having had enough of the everyday pressures and high cost of living.

One in five non-locals cross the country have made similar decisions - quitting first-tier cities such as Shanghai within three years of graduation due to the stress of living there, a report revealed yesterday.

The survey tracked down more than 100,000 university students who graduated in 2007. It found 22.2 percent of non-locals who gained employment in 2007 in metropolis cities left within three years. They either went home or settled down in less-developed areas.

"I lived under big pressure when I was in Shanghai, but now my life is stress-free," Cui told Shanghai Daily yesterday.

Cui, who graduated from a local university, left the city at a time when she had a monthly income of 5,000 yuan (US$770) in Shanghai, because after she spent 2,000 yuan on rent, there was not much left.

In Dalian City of northeastern China's Liaoning Province, her hometown, Cui said she does not need to worry about buying an apartment, and even if she were to buy one, the cost will be much lower. "It saves me a lot of money as I live with my parents."

Since she had working experience in a metropolis like Shanghai, Cui found her current job quite easily and earns a higher salary.

Forced to leave

The report, released by MyCos, an evaluation institute for higher education, also said that of those leaving the rates were highest among graduates on low incomes of less than 2,000 yuan a month and those on high incomes of more than 9,000 yuan per month.

Economic pressures forced the low-income group to leave, while those with higher incomes quit for career development, the report said.

And those who quit first-tier cities enjoyed higher salaries than their counterparts three years after graduation, according to the report, which also said non-locals in big cities usually had weak purchasing power as soaring living costs cancelled out wage rises.

However, Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou are still the most attractive places for fresh graduates. And Shanghai comes second, following Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, as the most attractive city for students.


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