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Further Job Cuts in the Coal and Steel Industry Announced

China’s annual economic growth in 2016 reached the expected target of 6.7 percent, with the creation of more than thirteen million new jobs in cities and towns. Still, at the beginning of 2017 the employment prospects remained worrying, as China continued to rein in its overcapacity in heavy industries such as steel and coal. In a press conference held on 1 March, Yin Weimin, the Chinese Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, explained that arrangements were made in 2016 for 726,000 workers who had lost their jobs in the steel and coal industry. Moreover, he announced that an extra 500,000 workers would need similar arrangements in 2017. To facilitate this process, the authorities proposed four approaches: workers whose skills are applicable to other positions within their factories would be reassigned internally; workers with skills incompatible to other roles in the same factory would be relocated to other places, with the government providing them with job training and guidance; workers within five years of retirement would be encouraged to retire early; finally, a special effort would be made to ensure the livelihoods of disadvantaged and older workers who did not belong to the first three categories. JL

(Sources: Caixin 1; Caixin 2; Renminwang)

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