China says two million new graduates jobless

Wed Jul 8, 2009 10:42pm EDT
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BEIJING (Reuters) - Almost one in three new Chinese college graduates are unable to find a job, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Citing the Ministry of Education, Xinhua said about two million graduates, or 32 percent of the total of 6.11 million, were without work.

The figure is the highest since the ministry started collecting the data in 1996.

Premier Wen Jiabao has given assurances that the government will do all it can to find jobs for the new graduates.

Zhang Haoming, an official with the ministry, told Xinhua the financial crisis was to blame.

But analysts also point the finger at a massive expansion of college enrollment in recent years: China enrolled 6 million new college students in 2008, up from 1.08 million in 1998.

They also cite the education system's failure to produce graduates with the qualifications and skills that employers need as well as unrealistically high job and salary expectations on the part of some college leavers.

(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Alan Wheatley, Editing by Jacqueline Wong)