Shanghai works to boost employment

Updated : 2020-07-08


Shanghai, China's economic hub, is striving to maintain employment stability during the COVID-19 epidemic. [Photo/Sipa]

"The employment situation in Shanghai is generally stable, with no large-scale layoffs or job losses," said Zhao Yongfeng, director of the Shanghai Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, during an interview about quality of life in Shanghai in 2020 on June 24.

The city's measures to safeguard employment amid the COVID-19 epidemic have already taken effect in easing the burden on enterprises, injecting vitality into the market and boosting confidence among workers, according to the interview.

Stabilize employment to promote development

Zhao said Shanghai currently has a stable work force of 10.15 million people and temporary work force of 3.2 million people, with the total amount remaining almost unchanged.

The registered unemployment rate was 3.6 percent at the end of last year and 3.12 percent at the end of May. The surveyed unemployment rate was 4.0 percent at the end of last year and 4.3 percent in the first quarter of this year.

Employment is crucial to economic and social development amid epidemic prevention.

In the recently issued opinions about "further stabilizing employment and promoting development", Shanghai rolled out a series of measures to lessen the burden on enterprises and provide subsidies to special employment groups.

The city is holding a number of online and offline job fairs to help college graduates find jobs. For those who haven't found a job, a list of names was planned to be established for future employment assistance. Larger-scale offline job fairs were expected to be held later this month.

Official statistics showed that the number of registered workers in Shanghai has been gradually rising in recent months, even slightly surpassing the same period last year.

Combine policies to safeguard market entities

Safeguarding the sustainable operation of market entities is imperative for ensuring employment in the fight against the epidemic. To this end, local government is employing five policies - "exemption, reduction, delay, returning, and subsidizing".

"Exemption" refers to Shanghai's taking the lead in introducing social insurance premium reduction and exemption policies. From February to June this year, the payment of three social insurance premiums for small, medium-sized and micro enterprises and individual businesses were exempted, and for large enterprises and other insured units, payments were halved from February to April. This has saved the enterprises about 53 billion yuan ($7.52 billion) in the first half of this year.

"Reduction" refers to the policies such as periodic reduction of social insurance premiums, extension of premium rate reduction for unemployment and work-related injury insurance, and continuation of social insurance burden reductions. It is estimated that 128.1 billion yuan will be reduced for enterprises throughout the year, which will further reduce social insurance burdens and encourage them to resume work and production.

"Delay" means that insured units or individuals may, due to the impact of the epidemic, reapply for social insurance premiums payment and other related services within three months after the epidemic has ended. By the end of May, 47,000 insured units in the city had completed the social insurance premium payment extension.

"Return" refers to the unemployment insurance refund policy. Employers which do not lay off employees shall receive 50 percent of the total amount of unemployment insurance premium paid the previous year. Also, limitations on the refund of unemployment insurance are partly removed. Small, medium and micro enterprises can apply online. By the end of May, Shanghai had returned 2.555 billion yuan to 126,900 employers, benefiting 4.69 million workers.

"Subsidizing" means that Shanghai will grant one-time employment subsidies to key enterprises that supported epidemic prevention and control during the Spring Festival and enterprises engaged in industries that are more affected by the epidemic. By the end of May, 625 enterprises and 3,793 enterprises had applied for the two policies, and 53 million yuan and 240 million yuan had been given in subsidies, respectively.

Meanwhile, Shanghai took the lead in China in implementing an online training subsidy policy to encourage employees to participate in training sessions and improve their skills.

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