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updated 7:33 AM UTC, Oct 20, 2017
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China Job Market; 80 Percent Seek New Jobs but Confidence High

Spring has sprung, and the chances are Nanjing’s white collar employees are thinking about hopping off to what they see as greener pastures.

While job hopping levels in China remain sky high on an annual basis, after the Chinese New Year holiday is the time of year when local people are most likely to seek out a new start in their career.

The most popular career platform in China, Zhaopin.com (measured by average daily unique visitors, registered users unique customers at 2016 year end), has released its spring 2017 survey of the human resources market that reveals both nationwide trends as well as other statistics particular to cities such as Nanjing. Research was conducted for the survey in February 2017 to gauge white-collar workers' confidence in their careers and their intentions to change jobs. More than 20,500 white collars participated in the nationwide survey.

First, the survey highlights:

  • The confidence of white-collar workers in their career opportunities rebounded to 3.95, compared with 3.26 in spring 2016. The confidence index is measured from 1 to 5, with 5 as the highest.
  • With limited work experience, employees born in the 1990s were the least confident in their career options, with an index of 3.90, compared with 4.16 for workers born in 1960s.
  • Nearly 80 percent of white-collar workers were taking actions to seek new jobs in the spring of 2017.
  • The most important reason for job-hopping was salary, with 49 percent of white-collar workers considering to change jobs because of unsatisfactory pay.
  • Employees born in the 1990s were the most active job-hoppers, with 77.8 percent taking action, followed by 76.8 percent for workers born in 1970s.
  • White-collar workers' confidence in their career choices has been on a rollercoaster ride over the past three years. After reaching 3.72 in the spring of 2015, the confidence of white-collar workers tumbled to 3.26 in the spring of 2016 as the overall economic growth slowed down. With the economy stabilising, the confidence of white-collar workers rebounded to 3.95 in the spring of 2017, setting a new high since 2014. 

This spring, 69.7 percent of white collar workers were confident or very confident in their career options, while only 8.6 percent had low or no confidence. Employees in joint ventures had the highest confidence, with an index of 4.04 in the survey, followed by 3.96 for private companies and wholly foreign-owned enterprises (including HK, Macao and Taiwan). Workers in public institutions showed the lowest confidence at 3.75.

In terms of demographics, workers born in the 1990s were the least confident in their careers, with an index of 3.90. The older the workers, the more confident they became, the survey found. Employees born in the 1960s were the most confident group, with an index of 4.16.

Yantai (4.14), Guiyang (4.13) and Taiyuan (4.06) were the top three cities with the highest confidence index from white-collar workers. However, the confidence index ranking of first-tier cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, all dropped in the spring of 2017, while the rankings of emerging first-tier cities were edging up.

Nanjing is sadly nowhere to be seen in the highest confidence index for Spring 2017, possibly as a result of government bodies (or government influenced/descended bodies) accounting for such a large proportion of the local economy and workforce.

Compared with the fall of 2016, the confidence of white-collar workers in all sectors improved significantly in the spring of 2017. Employees in IT/telecom/electronics/internet sector and trade/wholesale/retail/leasing/fast-moving consumer goods/durable consumer goods sector were the most confident, with an index of 3.98.

The higher the salaries, the more confident the white collar workers were, according to the survey. Workers with a salary of ¥15,001 to ¥20,000 per month had the highest confidence index of 4.28.

After taking the year-end bonuses, spring is the most active season for job-hopping. This year, nearly 80 percent of white-collar workers were taking action to change jobs, the survey found. Among them, 11.7 percent were in the process of quitting or coming on board, and 65.3 percent were looking for new opportunities with updated resumes. The other 18.6 percent of white collar workers indicated intentions to switch jobs. Only 4.4 percent indicated that they would not consider job-hopping.

The most important reason for job-hopping was salary, according to the survey, with 49percent of white-collar workers considering to change jobs because of unsatisfactory pay. Also, 42.6 percent wanted to quit their jobs due to uncertain prospects of their companies. Promotion limits and welfare packages were also key concerns for white collars to jump boats.

With low confidence in their careers, employees born in the 1990s were the most active job-hoppers, with 77.8 percent taking action, followed by 76.8 percent for workers born in the 1970s.

White-collar workers in purchasing, sales, design and operations were more likely to switch jobs as about 80 percent of employees were taking actions in these occupations.

Yantai (84.1 percent), Kunming (82.0 percent) and Shenyang (81.3 percent) were the top cities with the highest percentage of job-hoppers. Key provincial capital cities, including Changchun, Chengdu, Ha’erbin and our very own Nanjing also saw high job market mobility as they were attracting more white-collar workers.

 

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