SCIO briefing on employment and social security
Beijing | 10 a.m. March 2, 2023

The State Council Information Office held a press conference on Thursday in Beijing to brief the media about China's employment and social security.


Wang Xiaoping, minister of human resources and social security

Li Zhong, vice minister of human resources and social security

Yu Jiadong, vice minister of human resources and social security


Shou Xiaoli, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO

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Ms. Wang Xiaoping, minister of human resources and social security

Mr. Li Zhong, vice minister of human resources and social security

Mr. Yu Jiadong, vice minister of human resources and social security


Ms. Shou Xiaoli, deputy director general of the Press Bureau of the State Council Information Office (SCIO) and spokesperson of the SCIO


March 2, 2023

Shou Xiaoli:

Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Welcome to this press conference held by the State Council Information Office (SCIO). This is the seventh briefing in the series "Embarking on the New Journey — A Government Perspective." Today, we are joined by Ms. Wang Xiaoping, minister of human resources and social security. Ms. Wang will brief you on the situation concerning employment and social security, and take your questions. Also joining us are two vice ministers of human resources and social security, Mr. Li Zhong and Mr. Yu Jiadong.

Now, I'll give the floor to Ms. Wang for a brief introduction.

Wang Xiaoping:

Friends from the media, ladies and gentlemen, good morning. I'd like to thank you for your long-term efforts in communicating social conditions, public opinions and beneficial policies in a sincere and responsible manner. We also appreciate your support for the work involving human resources and social security. At today's press conference, my colleagues and I will exchange ideas with you on the efforts concerning employment and social security.

Employment and social security issues concern the lives of all families. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has taken improving people's wellbeing as the ultimate goal of socioeconomic development. It has acted on the people-centered development philosophy, and specified an approach to improving people's wellbeing, namely ensuring basic needs, prioritizing key areas, improving institutional arrangements, and guiding public expectations. A series of major decisions and plans have been made regarding employment and social security, and the employment-first strategy has been implemented. This has ensured our social security work in better helping those most in need, building a tightly woven safety net, and establishing the necessary institutions. As a result, historic achievements have been made, and people's sense of gain, happiness and security has become more sufficient, better-protected and sustainable.

In the past decade, the proactive employment policy system with Chinese characteristics has been consistently enriched and developed; the pro-employment mechanism has been constantly improved; and a working pattern has been formed featuring autonomous jobseekers, adjustable market mechanisms, and government support for employment and entrepreneurship. Relatively sufficient employment has been achieved in China, a developing country home to over 1.4 billion people. The central government has made employment a priority in its endeavor to ensure stability on six key fronts (employment, finance, foreign trade, inbound investment, domestic investment, and market expectations) and maintain security in six key areas (jobs, daily living needs, food and energy, industrial and supply chains, the interests of market players, and the smooth functioning of grassroots government). As a result, employment-first policies and related supporting measures continue to be strengthened; business startups are boosting employment to greater effect; and the employment service system continues to be improved. The number of jobs in urban areas has risen significantly. The number of newly created jobs in urban areas averaged 13 million per year. The employment situation among key groups, such as college graduates, migrant workers and people having difficulty securing employment, was stable. The number of migrant workers who have shaken off poverty remained above 30 million. In addition, the employment structure continues to be optimized. The employment pattern in urban and rural areas has seen a historic change. Over 60% of employees worked in urban areas, and 48% of employees worked in tertiary industries. Flexible employment and other new forms in this regard have developed in a well-regulated manner and become a new growth driver for jobs. It is fair to say that the quality of employment has been steadily improved; workers' vocational skills continue to be enhanced; employees' income has seen stable growth; and their rights and interests have been effectively protected.

In the past decade, the construction of China's social security system has entered a phase of rapid development, and a fully functional social security system with distinctive Chinese features that covers the largest population in the world has been established. China's social security system has seen the most intensive reform efforts and the fastest development during this period. The central government has formulated and implemented the overall plan to reform and improve the basic old-age insurance scheme. It has realized national unified management for basic old-age insurance funds for enterprise employees. It has created a unified national basic old-age insurance system for both urban and rural residents. It has also brought government office and public institution pension schemes into line with enterprise schemes. These have further improved the nation's multi-level and multi-pillar endowment insurance system. The insurance system for unemployment and work-related injuries has been enhanced. China has worked further to ensure that everyone has access to social security. A total of 1.05 billion people have been covered by basic old-age insurance, 224 million by unemployment insurance, and 290 million by work-related injury insurance. Social security funds have also seen stable operation with their management continuously strengthened. In 2022, the revenue and expenditure of the three social security funds totaled 13.7 trillion yuan, and social security-related payments were made on time and in full. A five-level social security management and service network has been basically established. We continue to expand the application scope of social security cards, and related management and services have become well-regulated, standardized and IT-oriented. As a result, a social security system aimed at full coverage, ensuring basic needs, developing multi-level services and achieving sustainability has been strengthened in an all-round way. The basic lives and diverse needs of the people have been guaranteed in a more reliable manner.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress put forward the mission and tasks to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. Aiming to improve people's well-being and raise their quality of life, it emphasized that employment is the most basic component of the people's well-being and that the social security system provides a safety net for people's livelihoods and helps ensure social stability. In the context of implementing the employment-first strategy and improving the social security system, it made special deployments and defined goals, requirements and tasks. Human resources and social security authorities at all levels across the country will uphold the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era in order to properly understand the connotations and requirements of the mission to advance the Chinese path to modernization. We will thoroughly study and understand General Secretary Xi Jinping's important expositions on the work related to employment and social security. We will prioritize implementing an employment-first strategy to promote high-quality and full employment. We will also carry out in-depth social security system reforms to build a sound, sustainable and multi-tiered social security system that covers the entire population in both urban and rural areas and performs in a fair, integrated, reliable and well-regulated way. We will unswervingly implement the new deployments and requirements of the 20th CPC National Congress on the work related to employment and social security through concrete actions.

This year marks the first year to fully implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress. The Central Economic Work Conference has clearly listed the major tasks for the year. We will earnestly implement the decisions and arrangements of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to ensure the implementation of all tasks, ensure overall stable employment, and promote the high-quality and sustainable development of social security. With such efforts, we will strive to get the work on employment and social security off to a good start.

Next, my colleagues and I would like to exchange ideas with you. Thank you.


Shou Xiaoli:

Thank you for your introduction, Ms. Wang. Next, the floor is open to questions. Please identify the media outlet you represent before raising questions.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress emphasized that we should implement the employment-first strategy, intensify efforts to implement the employment-first policy, and improve related mechanisms to promote high-quality and full employment. What measures will the ministry take to ensure implementation? Thank you.

Wang Xiaoping:

Thank you for your question. I'd like to answer it. Employment plays a basic and fundamental role in improving people's well-being and also serves as an essential condition and an important goal of economic and social development. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has attached great importance to employment, always prioritized employment in pursuing economic and social development, and made various major decisions and arrangements to provide fundamental guarantees for stable employment. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress clearly proposed that we should implement the employment-first strategy and intensify efforts to implement the employment-first policy, which is the "double firsts" concept. It emphasized that employment is the most basic component of the people's well-being, scientifically set the important goal of high-quality and full employment, and put forward a series of important measures. The Central Economic Work Conference emphasized the major decision and deployments for stabilizing growth, employment and prices, deepening our recognition of the mission and responsibility for ensuring employment, and also defining the right direction and providing the fundamental guiding principle for the work to guarantee employment on the new journey. 

I think improving mechanisms and fulfilling responsibilities are key to ensuring full implementation. We will resolutely implement the decisions and deployments made by the Party Central Committee and the State Council, take stabilizing employment as a major political responsibility and the most prioritized work, and further promote the coordination and cooperation among all localities and governmental departments. The key to ensuring full implementation also lies in understanding new requirements and providing the solid effect of the employment-first concept. We should constantly expand employment capacity and improve its quality, ensuring that people are satisfied with their jobs and professions to maintain the overall stability of employment. Specifically, we will adhere to the following five aspects:

First, we will adhere to a target-oriented approach, focusing on the strategic role of employment. We will concentrate on the new target of promoting high-quality and full employment. We will also improve the evaluation system and supporting measures, ensuring more adequate employment opportunities, a more reasonable employment structure, a more equal employment environment, increasingly strengthened employment capability, and a steadily improved security level. We will aim to achieve a sound cycle of both economic growth and higher-quality and expanded employment.

Second, we will adopt a systematic method and uphold the employment-first policy. The macro regulation mechanism aiming to prioritize employment will be improved faster. We will make stepped-up efforts to establish a mechanism to evaluate the impacts that major investments, major policies, and the distribution of major productive forces may have on employment. Moreover, we will intensify our support to industries and enterprises that can provide more jobs. 

Third, we will consider worst-case scenarios and provide more employment support for key groups. We will establish a management mechanism that records the employment status of certain groups, including young people, especially university graduates; migrant workers, especially those who were lifted out of poverty; and unemployed individuals, especially those who face difficulties. By doing so, we will offer help to people in need according to the record, and refine our systems for ensuring people's basic living needs and for providing employment assistance. 

Fourth, we will adopt a problem-oriented approach and eliminate institutional barriers that hinder the flow of labor resources. We will improve the public service system for employment and make greater efforts to improve the market-, standard-, and system-based human resources development. We will refine the information monitoring mechanism to ensure that the labor in urban and rural areas can flow orderly and efficiently. We will also improve the policy system to ensure equal employment opportunities and eliminate unjustified restrictions that undermine equal employment. In this way, we will ensure that everyone has the opportunity to pursue a career through hard work.

Fifth, we are committed to improving relevant systems to create a predictable environment that stabilizes employment. We will improve the system for creating jobs by encouraging business startups and ensuring more people are willing to start and able to start their own businesses. We will improve the system of lifelong vocational training, launching special training programs in key areas to tackle structural unemployment. We will improve the systems for safeguarding workers' rights and interests to protect workers' legitimate rights. Thank you. 


China News Service:

Migrant workers have started returning to their posts and resuming production since the Spring Festival. Meanwhile, enterprises are also hiring employees. Could you please share more information in this regard? Thank you. 

Wang Xiaoping:

This is a good question. It is about the employment situation this year. Given the slowing economic growth rate, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the complex and volatile external environment in 2022, the CPC Central Committee and the State Council have taken decisive and effective measures. Local governments and relevant departments have resolutely shouldered the responsibility to stabilize and ensure employment. They rose to the challenge and forged ahead with resolve. As a result, the overall employment situation has remained stable. A total of 12.06 million new urban jobs were created, and the employment of key groups was stable. Moreover, some 32.78 million people lifted out of poverty found jobs, an increase from the level of the previous year. 

As the performance of the Chinese economy improves, employment will rebound this year so that the overall situation will remain stable. This is due to important factors as follows. The CPC Central Committee has attached great importance to employment, and the 20th CPC National Congress made a series of important deployments to ensure employment. These policies have served as guiding principles to ensure high-quality and full employment. The Chinese economy enjoys strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality. The fundamentals sustaining its long-term growth have remained strong. These have created favorable conditions to maintain employment stability in the long run. Moreover, innovation and entrepreneurship continue to provide new jobs, serving as a driving force to promote employment. The policies of stabilizing and ensuring employment will continue to be implemented, and the policies of reducing burdens, stabilizing jobs and increasing employment will be adjusted and improved. Skills training and activities to promote employment will also be held. These aspects will thereby ensure and expand employment. Thanks to all these efforts, we have the confidence and determination to ensure employment.

Nevertheless, we must understand that employment pressure will continue to exist regarding its total number. The number of college graduates will hit 11.58 million in 2023, while structural issues surrounding difficulty in hiring and finding jobs remain serious. Moreover, the challenge of hiring general workers and the shortage of technical workers persist. We will actively solve the most pressing difficulties of deep concern to the people regarding their employment, such as more job opportunities, more reasonable work remuneration, and more reliable social insurance. 

Just as you mentioned, the period following the Spring Festival sees a significant flow of workers, and businesses and enterprises usually resume their production after the holiday. This is, therefore, a crucial time for us to step up efforts to ensure employment. We have worked with relevant departments to launch the "Spring Breeze Action" initiative, offering people employment opportunities by holding job fairs online and offline nationwide. In this way, both ends of labor transfer will cooperate closer, facilitating migrant workers to find jobs, especially those lifted out of poverty.

The job market has been stable and progressing steadily in the first two months of this year, which is better than expected. Compared with previous years, it has three notable features. First, the laborers left for work early. On the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, some migrant workers already left their hometowns for work, hoping to resume their posts early. Second, companies have started their recruitment efforts earlier than in previous years. Many enterprises initiated employment negotiations before the Spring Festival holiday, with tailormade workforce being arranged right after the holiday, hoping to begin work and production as soon as possible. Third, recruitment activities have been busy. Job fairs across the country have been bustling with crowds, and there has been a significant increase in job seekers. As of the end of February, 46,000 recruitment service activities have been held, and 32 million job positions have been posted, indicating a promising start for China's employment situation this year.

Moving forward, we will prioritize stabilizing employment and view it as a primary political task. We will fully implement various measures to stabilize the job market, including stabilizing existing employments, expanding new job opportunities, improving quality, and ensuring basic employment needs. Our efforts to stabilize employment will be unwavering. We will strengthen support for enterprises to overcome difficulties and provide targeted assistance to the service sector, small- and micro-sized enterprises, and self-employed businesses, all with large employment capacities, to stabilize and expand their workforce. We will ensure our employment policies are targeted and implemented efficiently to benefit those enterprises directly. We will strengthen support for innovation and entrepreneurship and encourage business startups among key groups. We will also create a better market environment for casual laborers and fully implement our policies to protect the rights and interests of laborers engaging in new kinds of jobs. We will strengthen our efforts to provide targeted policies, expand market-based employment avenues while stabilizing the scale of job positions in the public sector, and ensure young people including college graduates can find jobs or start their own businesses. We will support people in rural areas to find jobs outside their hometowns or in nearby places so as to stabilize employment for rural workers including those lifted out of poverty. We will assist job seekers and provide a subsistence allowance for those in need, ensuring that their basic living needs are met. We will increase quality and efficiency in improving the public service system for employment and organize professional training programs in large scale to balance supply and demand in the job market. We will also strengthen comprehensive job market regulation to protect laborers' lawful rights and interests.

In summary, we have confidence in achieving our employment targets for the year and maintaining a stable job market.



The more than 1.3 billion social security cards issued in China have been playing an increasingly crucial role. Are there any recent updates regarding social security cards that you would like to share with us? Additionally, what steps will your ministry take to improve the work in this area?

Wang Xiaoping:

Thanks for your questions. Vice minister Li Zhong, responsible for social security work, will answer them.

Li Zhong:

I appreciate your interest in our work. The social security card is an essential way for people to access public services related to their livelihoods. In recent years, we have been working with stakeholders to promote the development of a multi-functional, all-in-one card for various public services. We have been continuously enhancing its functions, and our progress can be observed in the following four aspects:

First, we have comprehensively integrated features related to human resources and social security. People can access a total of 95 services with their cards, including employment registration, professional training, social insurance payments, and pension withdrawals, providing convenient services for the public. 

Second, we have been exploring possible features related to people's livelihoods that can be incorporated into the social security card. Many regions in China have introduced government services, medical services, transportation, sightseeing, cultural experiences, and government subsidies for urban and rural residents. Currently, the physical social security card allows for trans-provincial settlement of medical bills in all prefecture-level regions across China. Nearly 70 prefecture-level regions allow for the settlement of medical services and medicine purchases through an electronic social security card. Nearly 200 prefecture-level regions use social security cards to grant urban and rural residents financial subsidies. In some regions, people can use the card to pay public transportation fees, borrow books from libraries, and enter parks and tourist attractions. The public have benefited from the integration of so many features.

Third, we have been coordinating the development of both physical and electronic versions of social security cards. While ensuring that physical cards are issued to the general public, we are also speeding up the introduction of electronic cards. More than 740 million Chinese people have obtained electronic cards, the online service enabled by which runs parallel to the offline service provided by physical cards and provides the public with enriched experiences of high-efficiency smart services.

Fourth, we have actively promoted the regional "all-in-one card" services. For example, we have promoted regional cooperative legislation in the three provinces and one directly administered municipality in the Yangtze River Delta and explored new methods to achieve the "same treatment in different cities" for public services. In Sichuan province and Chongqing municipality, we have realized over 30 cooperative services regarding human resources and social security based on social security cards. Moreover, by using social security cards as a carrier, we have built a regional book rental system, allowing people to use their social security cards to borrow and return books in both regions. Hainan and Guangdong provinces have jointly issued such "all-in-one cards," which combine a social security card with an annual travel card, realizing the "same treatment in different cities" for cross-provincial travel consumption and enabling the public in these two provinces to enjoy the benefits of the "all-in-one cards."

In the next step, we will take social security cards as the carrier and promote the "all-in-one cards" for residents to enjoy various services. We will attach more nationwide service applications to the "all-in-one cards" and strive to use more data to benefit people and make the cards more convenient for the public. Thanks.


21st Century Business Herald:

People from all walks of life are concerned about pensions. What is the general situation of basic old-age insurance funds for enterprise employees? Thank you.

Wang Xiaoping:

Pensions, involving the vital interests of hundreds of millions of retirees, have attracted wide attention from the public. In recent years, the reform of the pension insurance system has steadily advanced. Its coverage keeps expanding, and the revenue of the insurance funds continues to increase. The system is running smoothly on the whole, and has a strong ability to guarantee payments. This can be seen in the following four aspects. First, the balance between revenue and expenditure has been maintained. The annual revenue and expenditure of basic old-age insurance funds for enterprise employees are basically balanced, and the funds have been operating smoothly in general. Second, the funds have been well regulated. In order to solve the structural problem of uneven fund distribution, and based on the central regulation system for basic old-age insurance funds, a national coordination system was launched last year to regulate funds nationwide with stronger efforts. Third, there has been financial input. Central government financial subsidies continue to increase, and local financial departments have established a long-term investment mechanism to increase their input. Fourth, there are long-term reserves. National social security funds continue to expand, and the transfer of part of state-owned capital to the social security funds has been completed. These two funds are long-term reserves for the source of pension payments. So, it's clear that China's old-age insurance funds are stable. Thank you.


Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK):

With the mainland experiencing negative population growth for the first time in 60 years, are you concerned about its potential impact on China's future economic growth? Thank you.

Yu Jiadong:

You mentioned the problem of population decline. From an employment perspective, this relates to its impact on the labor force supply. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China's working-age population between the ages of 16 and 59 declined to 876 million at the end of last year, down from a peak of 920 million. The decline in the labor force occurred amid an overall abundant supply, and China remains a developing country with the world's largest population and labor force. In terms of the labor structure, the decline is mainly because older workers are withdrawing from the labor market, and their number has declined rapidly. In contrast, the young labor force has increased steadily. It is estimated that 16.62 million young people will enter the job market in urban areas this year, reaching a new high in recent years. And the pressure on total employment is still high.

In the next step, we will continue to implement the employment-first policy, strengthen economic development in an employment-oriented way, expand employment capacity, alleviate structural problems in employment, strive to improve the quality of employment, and achieve full and high-quality employment to facilitate sound economic development. Thank you.


Cover News:

The private pension mechanism has been officially implemented in some pilot areas. I want to ask, how is this work progressing? Thank you.

Li Zhong:

I appreciate your concern about the issue of private pensions, which is a significant concern for all. The media have given much attention to the issue. Last year, we held a press conference on private pensions in this briefing hall, introducing the upcoming private pension mechanism. It's my pleasure to take this opportunity to share more information with you all since it has been ongoing for a while. 

A private pension mechanism is a supplementary endowment insurance program supported by government policies, voluntarily participated in by individuals, and operated in a market-oriented manner. It is an important institutional arrangement of a multi-tiered endowment insurance system. Our multi-tiered endowment insurance system consists of three levels, commonly called "three pillars." The first pillar is basic endowment insurance; the second is enterprise annuity and occupational annuity; the third is private pensions, including other personal commercial pension services. Both the second and third pillars have served as effective supplementary pension programs to the first.

Last year, China took the symbolic move to officially launch the private pension mechanism, which marked the multi-tiered and multi-pillared endowment insurance system taking shape. The construction of the private pension mechanism has demonstrated the following characteristics.

First, preferential policies provide support. At present, these policies have mainly manifested in three stages. At the payment stage, the payment amount will be deducted before personal income tax. Meanwhile, investment income is not taxed and is taxed at a lower tax rate of 3% when received. Moreover, the upper limit of the annual contribution is 12,000 yuan, which will be adjusted in due course.

Second, there is a variety of products to choose from. Relevant regulatory authorities have approved 137 public funds, 19 commercial pension insurances, 18 wealth management products, 465 savings deposit products, and other personal pension investment products following safety norms and the requirements of focusing on long-term preservation and appreciation. Participants can choose products based on their own investment preferences. With the system's expansion, investment products will become even more diverse.

Third, the services are more convenient. The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has led the creation of a private pension information service platform. Each participant on the platform has an individual account with multiple functions, including information recording, inquiry and other services. Through this, they can intuitively observe the condition of their private pension. Participants can access this information service platform directly through many channels, such as the national social insurance public service platform and electronic social security card. They can also open accounts, pay fees and purchase financial products through commercial banks.

At the end of last year, a total of 36 pilot cities and regions introduced the private pension mechanism. Thanks to the concerted efforts of all parties and the active participation of the public, 28.17 million people participated in the project within three months of its implementation.

The private pension system is a brand-new system. In the next step, we will follow the requirements made in the previous year, work with relevant departments to further promote and elaborate policies, sum up experience, improve relevant policies, and accelerate the implementation of the system in an active yet stable manner. 



The report to the 20th CPC National Congress pointed out that we will further improve the multi-tiered social security system that covers the entire population in urban and rural areas and see that it is fair, unified, reliable, well-regulated, and sustainable. I want to ask, what measures will be taken to improve the construction of the social security system? Thank you. 

Wang Xiaoping:

Thank you for your question. The social security system provides a safety net for people's livelihoods and helps ensure social stability. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has placed greater emphasis on developing the social security network. The committee has strengthened top-level design, continued to deepen reforms and rolled out a series of significant and crucial reform measures. For instance, we have established a unified basic pension insurance scheme for rural and non-working urban residents and brought government office and public institution pension schemes into line with enterprise schemes. The social security system has undergone continuous improvement in terms of its uniformity and standardization. The government launched a nationwide program for the unified management and adjustment of pension insurance funds for urban workers, and the functions of mutual assistance and redistribution were further strengthened. The enterprise annuity and personal pension systems were put in place, and the framework of a multi-level pension insurance system was established. In addition, occupational injury insurance trials have been conducted, and the government is actively exploring expanding insurance coverage for employees in new business forms. The government is also promoting building a "three-in-one" system of work-related injury insurance, which encompasses prevention, compensation, and rehabilitation, and further highlighting the functions of unemployment insurance to protect life, prevent unemployment and promote employment. The systematic, integral, and synergistic nature of the reform has been strengthened, providing people with corresponding institutional guarantees against risks such as old age, unemployment, work-related injuries, and poverty.

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress emphasized the need to further improve the multi-tiered social security system that covers the entire population in urban and rural areas and see that it is fair, unified, reliable, well-regulated, and sustainable. This fully reflects the deep understanding of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core on the developmental laws of social security in the new era and provides us with a fundamental guideline. We will focus closely on meeting these requirements and implementing them earnestly. There are several key tasks, which can be summarized as "one expansion," "two improvements," and "three upgrades."

"One expansion" refers to expanding the coverage of social insurance programs. Specifically, it involves further implementing full coverage of social insurance and expanding coverage precisely based on the characteristics of key groups, such as employees working in new forms of business and migrant workers, through the implementation of classified policies. We need to improve insurance policies for workers in flexible employment at their place of employment and encourage more workers in flexible employment to participate in the basic old-age insurance funds for employees. Additionally, we need to steadily implement trials of occupational injury insurance for people in new forms of employment.

"Two improvements" refer to two areas of improvement. The first area is to improve the multi-level pension insurance system. This involves deepening the reform of basic pension schemes, exploring measures to expand the coverage of enterprise annuities, actively and steadily implementing the personal pension system, and meeting the diverse pension needs of the people. The second area is to improve the adjustment mechanism for social insurance benefits, allowing people to better share the benefits of economic and social development.

"Three upgrades" refer to three areas that need to be improved. The first upgrade is to enhance the level of unified management. This includes promoting the unified national management of enterprise pension insurance, increasing fund adjustments, and promoting unified provincial-level management of unemployment and work-related injury insurance. The second upgrade is to strengthen the ability to supervise funds. This involves further strengthening the "four-in-one" risk prevention and control system for policy, operations, information, and supervision, organizing and launching special actions for fund management, and enhancing investment supervision. The third upgrade is to improve the quality of service. This means improving the unified national social insurance public service platform with the social insurance card as the carrier, establishing an all-in-one card system, and promoting the handling of more high-frequency matters through a single network and across provinces, aiming to minimize inconvenience for the public. Mr. Li Zhong has introduced the application of the all-in-one card in Sichuan, Chongqing, Hainan, Guangdong, and other places. The "three provinces and one city" (Jiangsu province, Anhui province, Zhejiang province, and Shanghai city) in the Yangtze River Delta region have developed coordinated legislation and compiled a list of items to clarify social security services. Cardholders can therefore enjoy corresponding benefits in social security, transportation, cultural tourism, employment, financial services, and other fields. Moreover, the innovative application of social security cards can be further expanded in various economic and social areas. These are valuable experiences that need to be summarized and promoted.

Next, we will prioritize the improvement of the social security system as a means of achieving common prosperity. This will lay a solid foundation to make people's well-being more secure while promoting the high-quality and sustainable development of social security. Thank you.



The scale of China's college graduates continues to expand, reaching a record high again in 2023. How will you promote the employment of college graduates and other young people? Thank you.

Wang Xiaoping:

I would like to thank the reporter from Hong Kong for their interest in the employment of mainland college graduates. I would like to ask my colleague, Mr. Yu Jiadong, to give you an introduction.

Yu Jiadong:

College graduates are an invaluable human resources for any country. The CPC Central Committee and the State Council have always attached great importance to the employment of college graduates, introduced a series of policies and measures, and held special meetings every year to promote their implementation. Various regions, relevant departments and aspects of society have done a lot of work. As you said, the number of college graduates will reach 11.58 million in 2023. The task of promoting employment has become even more onerous. We will insist on placing the promotion of youth employment, especially for college graduates, in a more prominent position, as well as introduce stronger policies, expand positions, improve services, help those most in need, and work with relevant departments to do a good job. The focus is on four areas:

First, we will strengthen our efforts to expand channels. We will further improve the policies for supporting employment and entrepreneurship among graduates, launch special actions to provide policy services, expedite policy delivery, stabilize and expand recruitment in state-owned enterprises, stabilize recruitment at public institutions and grassroots projects, encourage graduates to seek employment in micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as well as at the community level in urban and rural areas, and support independent entrepreneurship and flexible employment for graduates. At the same time, we will guide localities in adjusting and optimizing the scheduling of examinations including professional qualification examinations, to leave graduates more time to find jobs.

Second, we will strengthen our efforts to promote employment opportunities. We will continue to promote public employment services on campus, offering graduates job information, guidance, training, entrepreneurial support and other services. At the same time, we will launch a series of special service activities called "Vocation Leads to the Future," mobilize industry associations, social organizations and well-known enterprises to participate extensively, combine online and offline and push job opportunities on a large scale. We will launch more industry-specific recruitment to provide graduates with ample job information.

Third, we will strengthen internship training. We will continue to implement the plan to offer 1 million high-quality internship positions, launch a number of national internship demonstration units to improve the practical ability of graduates. In response to the career development needs of graduates, we will actively organize skills training, improve the quality of training, expand training for new occupations, and support graduates in attaining skilled employment.

Fourth, we will try to assist and support those in need. For graduates seeking employment, we will provide information in advance, keep records of our assistance and support work, smoothen various channels for help, and track graduates based on real-name-based services. Additionally, we will beef up support to graduates from families living in poverty, families living on subsistence allowance, zero-employment families, and those facing other difficulties such as disabilities by offering them services and job recommendations. We will promptly integrate unemployed young people into employment and unemployment management services. We will also strengthen guidance and category-based assistance for people who are long-term unemployed to help them better enter the job market. 

In a nutshell, we will work tirelessly to help college graduates and other young people find steady employment. Thank you. 


Shou Xiaoli:

Due to the time limit, we will have one last question. 

Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:

Enhancing vocational training and cultivating more skilled workers are essential to easing recruitment and employment difficulties. What measures will the MOHRSS take in this regard? Thank you. 

Wang Xiaoping:

This is a good question. Improving vocational skills is the key solution for addressing the dual problems of enterprises' difficulty in recruitment and workers' difficulty in finding employment. This also serves multiple purposes, as improving workers' vocational skills is conducive to promoting the transition from a demographic dividend into a human resources dividend. It also empowers more ordinary workers to join the middle-income group through hard work. 

The report to the 20th CPC National Congress emphasized improving the system of lifelong vocational training and tackling structural unemployment . Last year, the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council issued guidelines on strengthening the cultivation of highly-skilled workers, which we will earnestly implement. To enhance vocational training, we will stabilize the scale, take care of the whole process, focus on key areas, improve the system, boost effectiveness, and roll out incentivizing measures.

As for stabilizing the scale, we will continue to organize large-scale vocational training. The three-year campaign for upgrading vocational skills has provided more than 83 million subsidized training opportunities. During the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), we will offer more than 75 million government-subsidized training opportunities for all urban and rural workers. 

As part of taking care of the whole process, we will launch extensive multi-tiered vocational training for workers across stages from study to work. We will organize pre-employment training for new entrants to the workforce, on-the-job training for enterprise employees, and training for the unemployed to help them find new jobs. In this way, we will improve workers' ability to apply for and choose a job, stabilize their employment, and secure their reemployment. 

To focus on key areas, we will boost China's strength in manufacturing, product quality, cyberspace, and digital development . We will intensify the cultivation of skilled workers in key areas. We will thoroughly carry out programs to strengthen skills in the manufacturing sector and expand the workforce of skilled personnel. We will concentrate on key groups, including college graduates, rural migrant workers, and people who have difficulty finding employment, and offer a range of vocational training programs. We will center on scaling up assistance to certain regions in pursuing rural revitalization and arrange training for rural workers, especially those lifted out of poverty, to help them move into non-agricultural jobs.

Improving the system means improving the vocational skill training system, increasing the supply of training, and enhancing a joint and shared training mechanism. We will promote a diversified training pattern combining government-subsidized, enterprise-initiated, and market-oriented training. We will vigorously develop vocational education, skilled worker education, and the construction of public training bases. In addition, we will comprehensively promote a training model of integrating work and study to build skills.

Boosting effectiveness means improving the quality of training effectively. We should respond to workers' diverse and differentiated needs to promote employment and entrepreneurship. We should adapt to industrial transformation, upgrading, and technological advancements and adjust training content promptly. We should direct training resources to focus on areas that are urgently needed by the market and crucial for enterprise production. Additionally, we should strengthen standardized management, fund supervision, and service guarantees for training.

Incentivizing and driving involve encouraging and guiding workers to love and devote themselves to their skills, to become skilled talents, and serve the country with their abilities. We will vigorously promote the model worker work ethic, the spirit of labor, and quality workmanship, inspiring workers to strive for the new journey and adhere to the idea that labor creates value. We will encourage them to "do what they love and love what they do, specialize in their craft, and become skilled at their work." We will improve the evaluation and incentive mechanisms, implement the "New Eight-Grade Worker" vocational skills level system, and strengthen the skill-value incentive orientation regarding salary income distribution. Before this year's Spring Festival, I visited a plant of the Beijing North Vehicle Group, where I met with several vocational-skilled talents. Ma Xiaoguang is a guiding role model for many young people due to his growth experience. Born in 1980, Ma enrolled in the vehicle plant's vocational education school at 15. After graduation, he started as an apprentice and made significant technological breakthroughs, such as CNC machine tools, while winning numerous invention awards. His skills and theoretical knowledge are highly regarded, and he has published many academic articles. Currently, he is the chief technician of the vehicle plant and a senior engineer in this field. He has two potential pathways for career advancement. According to plant management, his treatment is equivalent to that of a vice president. This type of career path plays an important role in developing and motivating skilled professionals. We will also improve the vocational skills competition system and drive job position training and skills competitions. Recently, the latest season of "Craftsmen of the Nation," produced by CCTV, showcased the inspiring stories and advanced skills of 10 individuals. I urge the reporters here to highlight the growth experiences of typical figures like them and promote their craftsmanship, spirit and values throughout society. This year, we will hold China's second Vocational Skills Competition in Tianjin, and we welcome everyone to follow the event closely. Thank you.

Shou Xiaoli:

Thank you, Ms. Wang Xiaoping, thank you to all the speakers, and thanks to all the journalists. Today's press conference has now concluded. Goodbye, everyone.

Translated and edited by Zhu Bochen, Zhou Jing, Gong Yingchun, Guo Yiming, Yan Xiaoqing, Qin Qi, Wang Yiming, Liu Caiyi, Xu Xiaoxuan, Wang Wei, Zhang Junmian, Liu Sitong, Yang Xi, Huang Shan, Li Huiru, He Shan, David Ball, Tom Arnsten, and Jay Birbeck. In case of any discrepancy between the English and Chinese texts, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

/5    Shou Xiaoli

/5    Wang Xiaoping

/5    Li Zhong

/5    Yu Jiadong

/5    Group photo