Chinese Hiring of Graduates is Down

Hiring is an obvious reflection of how the economy is going, especially when there is a change in recent college graduate hiring. But that is what is happening in China right now. It is the first time this has happened in quite awhile. And for a country that is supposedly booming economically it really shows how much of an impact a slowing US economy has on the world. Here are a few excerpts from an article on by Bill Powell called Not-So-Great Expectations:

“I’ve had eight interviews so far,” says Huang, an international-trade
graduate of Anhui University of Finance & Economics, “but I still
don’t have a decent offer. And I just had an export-import company in
Shanghai cancel an interview. They told me, ‘We’re not hiring anymore,
our business is down and we think it’s going to get worse.’”

Huang and her fellow graduates are facing China’s surprisingly grim
economic realities — some new, some chronic. Generating enough jobs for
the masses of newly minted capitalists who emerge from China’s
university system has for years been a challenge. Last year, about
one-third of college grads went jobless for at least six months after
graduation, according to government estimates. This year’s crop of 5.6
million grads — 740,000 more than last year — is the largest ever, and
the tsunami of able bodies is washing into the market just as China’s
economy is faltering

Manufacturing contracted in July for the first time since at least
2005, according to China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index, resulting in
reduced hiring by the sector. Meanwhile, a 50% drop in China’s stock
markets from their peak last October is creating a reverse wealth
effect, some economists believe, leading both consumers and companies
to be more cautious about their outlays.

Tao Wang, an economist with Bank of America in Beijing, says China’s
GDP growth will slow to 10% this year, down from 11.4% in 2007, and
could drop to 8.8% in 2008.

China’s job-market woes won’t be solved by high economic growth alone.
There are persistent problems within China’s higher-education system
that are of mounting concern. As children from the country’s expanding
middle class come of age, universities are being blitzed with new
students. In fields such as engineering and economics, there simply
aren’t enough high-caliber teachers to go around. “China lacks the
educational infrastructure to keep pace with the frantic demand for
education,” says Tang Min, chief China economist at the Asian
Development Bank. A human-resources executive who helped produce a
report on the subject for the American Chamber of Commerce in China
puts it more bluntly: “the vast majority of [Chinese] kids go to
second- or third-rate schools — diploma mills — and are just unprepared
to enter a very competitive job market. They’re getting ripped off.”

Employers say the incidents illustrate two broader problems in China’s
higher-education system. Education is such a bedrock value that “kids
who really shouldn’t even be in college go anyway, and then expect a
good-paying job when they graduate,” says the human-resources executive.

He Lingyan, who runs a fast-growing industrial pipe – manufacturing
company in Zhejiang province, says that when he needs engineers, “I
look for people who have already worked. A lot of colleges aren’t
producing kids with the skills we need. There needs to be better
communication between companies and educational institutions, and it
will take time to fix this problem.”

The last quote looks like something you’d see in the US as well.


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