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New college graduates struggle find jobs


12-11-2014 13:56 BJT

The heart of China's coal industry is shrinking. Coal companies in the northern province of Shanxi are cutting salaries and cutting jobs. Now the ripple effect is being felt most keenly among new college graduates with related majors, who are facing extremely tough odds to find work in the industry.

Close to 10,000 college graduates stand in long lines in the early morning at one of the top universities in Shanxi province for the biggest job fair of the year.

They are among China’s record 7.3 million new graduates in 2014. But for those hoping to work in the coal industry, the prospect of finding a job are especially low.

"The coal industry is not doing well. They’re cutting jobs now. It’s very hard to find employment with any coal company," Wang Hao, graduate from Taiyuan University Of Technology, said.

"I think coal companies need less people now. In the past job fair, a coal company would recruit over 20 people. Now they only recruit three to five people," Ma Junwei, graduate from Taiyuan University Of Technology, said.

Over 200 companies are taking part in the job fair. Only two of them are major coal groups.

"Recruitment needs of local coal companies have severely dropped. Hiring decreased by 25% in 2013. This year it will be even less," Yuan Qunfang, employment director of Taiyuan University Of Technology, said.

With coal companies hiring less people, many graduates with related majors have shifted their attention to other industries.

"Before, few of us would switch to jobs in other fields. But now some of my classmates are trying to get certification to become teachers, while some others are seeking jobs in banks," Ma said.

Shanxi’s economy relies heavily on coal... and the downturn has placed great pressure on the job market. Education officials say college graduates should seek jobs in more fields, and that the local government should also provide more employment assistance.

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