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Job market tightens, though free trade zone likely to help in future

THE Shanghai Free Trade Zone is expected to generate more jobs in the future, but for now, job scarcity will continue to affect white-collar workers and next year’s college graduates, recruitment analysts said at the sixth China Human Capital Forum in Shanghai today.

The number of local job openings has fallen by nearly 50 percent since the beginning of this year, as companies tightened recruitment plans to save labor costs, said Willa Wang, vice general manager of China International Intellectech (Shanghai) Corp, based on her clients' experience.

“Many companies no longer recruit new workers after current workers resign. Instead, they merge some positions and fill the vacancy with their own staff," Wang said.

College seniors will find fewer positions open at campus recruitment sessions, which usually begin in September. The positions at campus recruitment events organized by CIIC decreased by nearly 30 percent this year. The starting salary for college graduates at foreign-invested companies will be about the same as last year, which is around 3,745 yuan (US$612) a month.

The pilot free trade zone, which will take years to build, is expected to help revive the bleak job market as it will attract overseas companies and generate more new jobs. “There will be a huge increase in positions such as trade, import-export, logistics and information technology," Wang said.

The pilot free trade zone, approved by the State Council last month, will allow companies to import, manufacture and re-export goods without the intervention of Customs authorities, thus improving convenience and efficiency and facilitating the free flow of commodities and capital.


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