A third of Chinese graduates choose to go to second- or third-tier cities

Working in big cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou has been the goal for many Chinese graduates for a long time. However, in recent years, with an increasing number of graduates, employment has been decreasing correspondingly. In 2004, the number of college graduates in China was around 2.8 million; it is expected that in 2014 this number will rise to 7.27 million, while three hundred thousand students who studied abroad will also return to China to find a job. China Central Television recently did a survey on the graduates’ preference for employment and found that more and more students are willing to work in second- and third-tier cities. This shift shows that the rising cost of living and the limit of hukou in big cities have been pushing graduates to move to second- and third-tier cities. This mobility of talent may on one hand reduce the pressure of graduates who are eager to find a job and start a career, while on the other hand it may boost the urbanisation process of the second- and third-tier cities in China.

mobility of talent

More information about this survey: http://www.crtv.org.cn/a/crtv/sz/jrgz20140106732.html


Chi-Han Ai

Ph.D. candidate of EHESS ( École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris) focusing on regional economic development in China and Taiwan.

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3 thoughts on “A third of Chinese graduates choose to go to second- or third-tier cities

  1. Chi-Han Ai Post author

    Dear Mr. Tseng and Prof. Kam Wing Chan,

    Thank you very much for both of your remarks; it’s a pleasure to have your feedback.

    For grads in China, especially those grads in 2014, finding a job will become more difficult; From May,2013, CCTV did a series of reports, and there are some students who would like to stay in first-tier cities and some who prefer to go second- even third-tier cities. The link that I posted should have been this one http://tv.cntv.cn/vodplay/f5e399462caa4ec7b0f1caca937e17cd/860010-1102010100 (Survey shows that a third of 2014 graduates would choose small- and medium-sized cities for future employment) .

    And here is the reference figure that I cited
    http://mp.weixin.qq.com/mp/appmsg/show?__biz=MTI0MDU3NDYwMQ==&appmsgid=107273185&itemidx=2&sign=848f3750d02875c59991d35e883c19a9&scene=3#wechat_redirect

    Recently, I notice that Beijing announces to replace temporary residence permit [暂住证] with resident certificate (居住证) (http://www.china.com.cn/chinese/null/371981.htm). People who either already rent/get a house or have a stable job in Beijing can apply for the resident certificate of Beijing. The difference between the permit and the certificate is that the certificate allows the acquiring of the same social security (insurance, education, and etc.) of the people who have Beijing hukou; This change of policy may as well influence the employment preference for the grads. Maybe we can open a new post talking about this issue.

    Thank you again for your feedback

    Best Regards,

    Reply
  2. tseng

    The interview clips seems to tell most BJ grads’ preference to be Beijing and the largest cities.

    But the statistics pie chart tells there is an equipartition to Largest cities/coastal cities/small to medium cities.

    A bit strange here, and Kam Wing Chan is right in pointing that out!

    Reply
  3. Kam Wing Chan

    One interesting point, not noted in the above summary, but from watching the source TV clip (the first 2-3 minutes available online), is that getting a (Beijing) hukou remains a prime consideration to the grads, and the 3 grads interviewed have expressed a strong desire to remain in Beijing.

    Reply

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