This year, a record number of Chinese people took the civil service exam, as youth unemployment skyrocketed.
According to a CNBC study of state media reporting, 7.7 million applicants took the civil service exam in the 2023 application round, competing for more than 200,000 federal and provincial government jobs.
In China, government employment is generally seen as stable and respected. Economic growth has decreased from the previous decades’ fast rate.
The interest in government positions comes as Xi Jinping was re-elected as China’s leader for a record-breaking third term last week.
Xi believes that unity inside the ruling Chinese Communist Party is critical to the country’s development. As a result, the party has and will continue to grow its presence in the economy, even among non-state-owned firms.
Learning “Xi thinking” is becoming more of a requirement in Chinese classrooms.
Millions of people who want to work for the government must pass China’s civil service test, which begins with multiple-choice questions on Xi’s report to the party’s congress and Xi’s thoughts.
Here’s an example question from Gongkaotong, which sells civil service exam practice questions:
Xi Jinping’s economic ideas are a key aspect of Xi Jinping’s new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics. How many of the following statements about Xi Jinping’s economic views are correct?
1 The historical orientation of China’s economic development is entering a new development stage.
2 A recurring element in China’s economic development is the promotion of high-quality development.
3 The new development idea is the guiding philosophy of China’s economic development.
4 The first driving force for China’s economic progress is its insistence on opening to the outside world.
5 The main thrust of China’s economic development is the vigorous development of the manufacturing industry and the real economy.
A. two items
B. three items
C. four items
D. five items
The written test is divided into two sections: a 120-minute multiple-choice piece on “administrative professional skills” and a 180-minute essay writing element known as “Shen lun,” which translates to “constructing and defending an argument.”
The administrative test covers questions about the Communist Party of China’s National Congress Report, as well as other norms and regulations. Language skills, data analysis, quantitative approaches, “judgment and reasoning,” and “common-sense judgment” are also tested on the exam.
Priority is given to youthful civil servants.
The state increased national and provincial recruiting by 15% to 20%, a measure “aimed at reducing unemployment pressure, particularly for college graduates,” according to a state media article citing Zhu Lijia, a professor at the party’s National Academy of Governance.
According to official media, almost two-thirds of national-level civil servant positions during this round of examination were only open to recent graduates or those who graduated within the last two years and were unable to find work.
During the epidemic, unemployment among China’s young people aged 16 to 24 reached all-time highs, though it has subsequently moderated marginally.
Who is looking for work?
According to a plan provided by the National Civil Service Administration, China’s Ministry of Public Security is the largest recruiter at the ministry level.
The following are some open positions:
1. The Ministry of Public Security in China: 39 jobs
2. Foreign Ministry: 38 open jobs
3. Chinese Communist Party General Office: 26 entry-level positions. The department offers security, medical care, and secretary services to the party and government’s senior leadership.
4. China’s Cyberspace Administration: 20 posts, 12 of which will operate in the Internet Security Emergency Command Center. The regulator is in charge of overseeing content and has the right to remove apps from app stores.
Despite several attempts, CNBC was unable to reach China’s National Civil Service Administration for comment.
Top executives do not need to be tested.
China’s civil service test has its origins in the 6th-century imperial examination system.
Scholars would take numerous levels of tests to acquire government positions under that system, which was thought to be a fair process that offered everyone a fair chance to rise up in social order.
The present exam system in the country was implemented in 1993, and it became required for all entry-level government personnel in 2005.
However, Xi and other senior leaders were not required to take the civil service exam in order to be appointed to their current positions.
According to the statute, only “non-leadership civil officials below the senior staff member level and other analogous posts,” not senior leaders, are required to take the test.
In China, the president, vice president, chairman of the Central Military Commission, and other top government positions are selected through a process in which national delegates debate and nominate one candidate for each position.
Via this process, Xi was granted an unprecedented third term on Friday.
Heads of government at the provincial or lesser levels may face only one competitive candidate for each position.
Government officials in China are paid extremely little.
Nonetheless, they are usually promised high-status employment for life. Preferential treatment includes festival extra pay, better medical insurance, and a larger pension allotment without the requirement for personal payments.
Pay figures remain a controversial subject.
We will broaden employment opportunities to assist young people in realizing their personal worth via hard effort.
CHINESE PREMIER Li Qiang
According to the most recent figures released by official media, civil servants earned an average of 48,608 yuan ($6,979) per year in 2012. According to the reports, Xi received 136,620 yuan each year in 2015.
According to official data, the per capita pay income for urban inhabitants in 2022 will be 20,590 yuan. Wages in China vary greatly depending on the area and job type.
Despite longer-term projections of a declining population and workforce, the number of university graduates in China has reached new highs in recent years.
“From the standpoint of employment, there is some pressure,” Premier Li Qiang stated in his first press conference as Prime Minister on Monday, according to a CNBC translation of the Chinese.
“We will broaden job channels to assist young people to understand their personal value via hard effort.