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Civil service jobs losing glamour in China

Updated: 2015-04-08 16:28
By Liu Jing (chinadaily.com.cn)

Civil service jobs losing glamour in China

Applicants go through last-minute preparations before the civil servant recruitment exam in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province on Nov 30, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Over 10,000 civil servants in China have signed up for jobs in the private sector during the first three weeks of this year's hiring season, according to a survey released by Chinese human resource website Zhaopin.com on Mar 27.

According to Zhaopin.com, more civil servants are considering ditching their jobs in the traditional job-hunting season that started in February with their number increasing by 34 percent year-on-year.

Positions at property developers, financial institutions and Internet-related firms are among the jobs favored by jobseekers, the survey showed.

Previously the website didn't pay attention to this group since very few officials quit their jobs, said Huang Ruoshan, the website's senior career consultant, in a report by Southern Metropolis Daily.

Huang noted that the recent exodus of civil servants may be related to the ongoing anti-corruption campaign as many perks for government employees including luxuries banquets and cars have been cut.

According to a report by China Newsweek, between January and June last year more than 20 officials resigned from ministry-level government agencies, many from deputy department head-level positions.

In the past, a career in the civil service was usually considered the glorious and stable "iron rice bowl", an ideal choice for many Chinese people.

In 2010, the 16,000 openings in the government have drawn some 1.6 million applicants. In one example, in October 2012, more than 9,000 people applied for a single job in the municipal Statistics Bureau in Chongqing.

However, the numbers have dropped in recent years. In 2014, some 1.4 million people applied for government jobs and almost 900,000 sat the entrance exam, both about 100,000 fewer than that in 2013 and the lowest figures respectively in five years.

Many observers find the information inconclusive. A mayor in Sichuan province admitted in the report by Southern Metropolis Daily that more civil servants quitted last year but it remains to be seen whether this will become a long-term trend.

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