China to expand unemployment benefits to lure migrants to cities

China to expand unemployment benefits to lure migrants to cities

China to expand unemployment benefits to lure migrants to cities

Urbanisation is now one of the key issues of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s further thorough economic reform. It will greatly expand domestic market and thus boost substantial economic growth, but the resistance of vested interests is very strong in opposing the reform in China’s hukou system that prevents rural migrant workers from settling down in urban areas.

The following Reuters report shows what efforts China has been made for urbanisation:

China to expand unemployment benefits to lure migrants to cities

Chinese municipal governments must widen unemployment benefits to residents who are not registered locally, China said on Wednesday, as it dismantles hurdles to urbanisation efforts by easing conditions for migrant workers.

China’s reform-minded leaders have shown greater tolerance for slower economic growth, viewing healthy employment levels as a top policy priority and an important condition for social stability.

Chinese leaders have pledged to loosen their grip on residence registration, known as hukou, to try to hasten an urbanisation drive.

This would help migrant workers, who lack urban hukou, and are cut off, along with their families, from access to education and social welfare outside their home villages.

Lack of a local registration should no longer be used as a basis for denying unemployment benefits, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security said, according to a government website.

Local governments must also provide free career counselling and job-seeking services, and subsidise career development and skill-building, it added.

China has slowly eased household registration curbs even as the government has struggled to balance goals such as encouraging millions of farmers to migrate to cities and avoiding the slums and unemployment woes plaguing other developing nations.

Any marked weakening in jobs would raise alarm bells for the government as it ratchets up efforts to support the slowing economy. These measures included an interest rate cut last year.

China’s economy created more than 13 million new jobs in 2014,outstripping an official target despite slowing economic growth.

Source: Reuters –  “China to expand unemployment benefits to lure migrants to cities”

 



Categories: Human Rights & Social Issues

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