China strives to ease employment pressure while reducing excessive capacity


China says it expects to lay off 1.8 million workers in the coal and steel industries, or about 15 percent of the workforce, as part of efforts to reduce industrial overcapacity.


Pressures on the employment market have become one of the toughest social problems in China,thanks in part to the ongoing reduction in excessive production capacity, a downwards economy, and more young people seeking jobs. However there have been no reports off mass lay-offs before Monday's announcement.


Statistics show that over 13 million new jobs were created in 2015,  0.8 percent less than in 2014. Officials say the services sector has created more jobs to help absorb laid-off workers from the manufacturing sector. In 2015, the contribution from services to GDP climbed to 50.5 percent, surpassing 50 percent for the first time.


Meanwhile, the registered urban jobless rate published by the human resources and social security ministry was at 4.05 percent at the end of 2015. At a news conference on Monday, the ministry's head Yin Weimin said that the country will spare no efforts to expand employment.
"With the reduction of excessive production capacity, we are facing the resettlement of a total of 1.8 million laid-off workers. The government pledged to provide great support both in finance and policy. It will allocate 100 billion yuan over two years to relocate those workers laid off. And at the same time, we'll also offer assistance and support with unemployment insurance special employment funds," Yin said.