(ECNS) - The competition among Chinese cities to lure talent reflects a new development philosophy that aligns with economic transformation, said Meng Wei, spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).
Meng said in China there is no shortage in the labor force population, with the demographic group aged 16 to 59 still around 900 million. As average years of education and the number of college graduates grow, some students still face employment pressure after graduation.
However, new jobs are being created and demand for top talent increases as cities promote industrial restructuring and transformation, so attracting higher-level workers is naturally fiercely competitive, Meng said, adding that it's a change to traditional ideas regarding city development.
Meng also said it's increasingly important for local governments to constantly improve the business environment and public service in order to retain talent they have attracted.
Many cities are offering incentive policies, such as more flexible hukou (household registration) settlements and housing subsidies, to attract graduates to work or start businesses. Both Wuhan in Hubei Province and Xi'an in Shaanxi Province saw their registered populations increase by about 200,000 in 2017. However, even if people chose to register their hukou in one place, they may still work and live in other places.
Meng said China needs to address structural problems in employment because the spatial distribution of the higher-level worker force is not in line with economic growth and industrial clusters. The NDRC will increase efforts to support market-based allocation of the factors of production and improve policies for labor flow.