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China to Support Labor-intensive Businesses to Create Jobs

In face of the international financial meltdown, the Chinese government will support labor-intensive enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, the private companies and the service sector in order to maintain a stable unemployment rate.

"The ongoing international financial crisis which was triggered by the US sub-prime mortgage debacle has affected the employment situation in China, particularly many export-oriented enterprises," said the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) spokesman Yin Chengji on Monday.

The country created 9.36 million jobs in the first three quarters, and helped another 4.09 million laid-off workers re-employed, he told a press conference.

By the end of September, China had a registered unemployment rate of four percent, with about 8.3 million being unemployed. The unemployment rate was the same as what the country had at the end of last year.

To keep the unemployment rate stable in face of the international financial crisis, Yin said, the government was going to support labor-intensive enterprises, small and medium-sized businesses, the private companies and the service sector.

To bail out businesses in difficulty, the government decided to increase credits and loans to them and offer them more tariff refunds for exports, he said.

The spokesman said the government would take further responsibility of creating jobs by offering taxation, financing and other incentives for start-up businesses.

Further coordination with related governmental bodies will be made to increase employment of graduates from colleges and universities.

The government would also provide more career training for laid-off workers, helping them be re-employed as soon as possible, Yin said.

The government has transferred 219,000 labors from areas, which were hit by a massive earthquake on May 12 in southwest China's Sichuan Province, to other places for new jobs. Another 865,000 people were aided by the government to find jobs in places where they live.

About 215 million workers joined the nationwide urban pension system, nearly 274 million participated in the basic medical care system, 122 million were in the unemployment insurance mechanism, 135 million were covered by the work injury insurance and 88 million were in the maternity insurance, the ministry figures show.

The government will start tryouts to establish a pension system in rural areas and expand the urban pension system to rural migrating labors, Yin said.

For the past three decades since the country adopted the reform and open-up policy, Yin said, China has achieved greatly in the social security cause, shifting from a mechanism that state companies covered all social security for their employees to a new one that workers would resort to the society for their pensions and other job-related insurances.

While the governmental funds covering part of pensions and insurances, Yin said, employers and employees are responsible for jointly creating individual pension and medical insurance accounts for employees' later use.

The Chinese authorities planned to build a nationwide social security net by the year 2020, covering all urbanites and rural residents.

"With regard to the target," Yin said, "we still have a tough road ahead."

Yin said his ministry was working with other government offices to revise the draft social security law.

"The law would assure a comprehensive social security network, better social welfare for the Chinese people, more effective governance of the funds and easier services to the public," Yin said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 27, 2008)

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