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Promote Decent Employment to Address Social Problems of the International Financial Crisis

Wang Xiaochu

Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security of China

Mr. Chairperson,

Ladies and gentlemen,

The international financial crisis has brought severe shocks to our economies and grave challenges to employment in the world. The world of work has responded proactively and it is fitting that ILO adopted Global Jobs Pact. Countries have taken active measures to implement the Pact with some initial success.

In light of China’s conditions, the Chinese government has implemented the Pact in an all-round way by promoting a more active employment policy and improving social security system to actively address the challenges brought about by this crisis. First, expand domestic demand to boost employment. Job promotion is an important target in economic stimulus package, which aims at expanding domestic demand and promote economic growth. To create more jobs has figured prominently in government investment and major projects. The two-year 4-trillion RMB yuan investment plan the Chinese government has introduced is expected to create 22 million jobs. Second, ease the burden on enterprises to stabilize employment. To help enterprises get over difficulties and secure existing jobs, we in China introduced a social insurance contribution policy that reduced the burden on enterprises. Meanwhile, we provided social insurance subsidies and job subsidies to struggling companies through unemployment insurance fund. In 2009, the reduced corporate burden and increased subsides totaled 41 billion RMB yuan, which benefitted over 1.6 million businesses and helped secure over 60 million jobs. Third, improve workers’ employability. A Special Vocational Training Program accompanying with a government subsidy policy was launched to provide large scale trainings to improve employees’ occupational skills, promote employment and minimize job losses. In 2009, we provided government-subsidized job trainings to 21.6 million people and public employment services to over 60 million people. Fourth, improve social security system. We substantially increased input into social security funds. In 2009, 290.6 billion RMB yuan was earmarked in the central government budget to social security funds. In rural areas, a pilot program of the new rural old-age insurance scheme was launched. For the first time, 130 million rural residents in China are covered by old-age insurance and 1.2 billion people are covered by medical insurance. Five, promote tripartite cooperation. We engage employer organizations and trade unions in policy formulation and implementation. To overcome difficulties together and pursue joint development, we encouraged them to conduct dialogue and consultations with each other and take temporary measures so as to prevent or reduce lay-offs.

A host of measures adopted by the Chinese government to implement the Pact has basically stabilized employment situation in China and promoted decent employment for a large number of workers. By the end of 2009, the most difficult period for employment in China was over. 11.02 million new jobs had been created in urban areas in the whole year. The employment situation for youth is better than previous years. Businesses cut fewer jobs than before with growing demand for workers, and the total size of the rural migrant workers increased by 4.92 million.

Mr. Chairperson,

The international financial crisis is still ongoing, and in particular job recovery in many countries lag far behind their economic recovery. China calls on the international community to make continued efforts to strengthen cooperation for common development. First, job expansion should be a priority in economic and social development. The development strategies and macroeconomic policies conducive to employment creation should be carried out so as to ensure policy coherence and stability. Particular attention should be paid to the development of small and medium-sized enterprises. Second, we should speed up our efforts to build a better social security system to provide basic support to workers and give better protection to disadvantaged groups. Third, promote the building of harmonious labor relations. On the basis of strengthened tripartite dialogue and consultation, we should spare no efforts to promote tripartite cooperation, protect legitimate rights and interests of workers and achieve win-win results. Fourth, work hard to promote vocational training and keep improving employability of workers. The international community should boost the financial and technical support to developing countries.

Mr. Chairperson,

As the destiny of countries is interconnected in this world, we need to work together like passengers in the same boat to overcome the impact of the crisis, strive to build a global environment that is more fair and equitable, and achieve as quickly as possible recovery and inclusive growth through decent work.

Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

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