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China’s provinces trim thousands of government jobs to spend more on Beijing’s science and control priorities


A year later, the nature and scale of the restructuring process began to become clear, as central and local governments established new agencies covering these areas.

The central province of Henan has attracted the attention of millions of Chinese civil servants since mid-April, when its economic blueprint published details of the downsizing of regional public enterprises, cutting the workforce by more than 5,600 in the past few years.

China’s provinces trim thousands of government jobs to spend more on Beijing’s science and control priorities

04:51

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It is estimated that more than 3,330 jobs will be added to scientific research and technological innovation institutions, including the provincial Academy of Sciences, key laboratories and in other areas such as worker training. The plan specified job growth in areas related to people’s livelihood and popular stability.

China generally divides government-paid employees into two categories: administrative officials in government agencies, known as xing Cheng Bianzi, And employees working in other public institutions, such as schools, hospitals, radio, city administration and social welfare, are known as Shey Bianzi.

The Henan government said its restructuring plan for public enterprises, or Shi DanoyIt will not affect workers in schools and hospitals.

A Henan official involved in the force reduction process said the main ways to reduce staff numbers would not involve mass cuts.

“We have tightened the hiring quota for each unit. Depending on the severity of the increase in staff, we will tell them that they can only hire one person for every two or three retirements or resignations. After a few years, they will reach the number,” he said on condition of anonymity. “Target.”

“There is no doubt that the workload of each president will increase and we have heard complaints. But it is still better than a reduction.”

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Alfred Wu, an associate professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, said tightening new hiring measures may be “the only way to downsize China’s public sector.”

“Just like other countries, it is difficult to dismiss public employees unless they are found to have disciplinary problems. Job security has made the public sector the most sought-after employer in China now and people tend to stay in the system until retirement, given the high unemployment rates,” Wu said.

In an official newspaper in Henan, an editor said that although his unit followed a “one for every two retirees” policy, they had not replaced retirees in his office due to lack of funds in the budget.

“Our office is getting old, and we’ve been told that no new blood will be joining us in the near future,” he said, adding that they now hire contract or freelance workers to help ease the workload, but they usually don’t stay for long because of their salaries. Medical benefits were lower than those provided to permanent workers.

Henan’s workforce reduction is a sign of Beijing’s determination to push reform of public institutions in all provinces after a four-year trial in selected provinces and cities.

The Central Committee for Deepening Comprehensive Reform – China’s top decision-making body on institutional reforms led by President Xi Jinping – approved a pilot plan for public enterprise reform in February 2020.

Five provinces – Shanxi, Heilongjiang, Inner Mongolia, Jiangxi and Shandong – were asked to make changes in public institutions at the provincial level, while four other provinces, including Jiangsu, were asked to select cities as pilot areas.

China’s provinces trim thousands of government jobs to spend more on Beijing’s science and control priorities

34:00

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According to media reports, the pilot districts focused on consolidating non-core public functions, including official media, city administration or chingguang, and geological exploration units to undergo staff reductions.

In October 2021, Heilongjiang reported the simplification of 2,735 public institutions and the elimination of more than 83,000 “headcount” from public institutions, while in eastern China, Jiangsu Province reported more than 40 percent reduction in municipal institutions in four pilot cities, Which led to the reduction of more than 40 percent of municipal institutions in four pilot cities. 9,500 job opportunities in 2022

Wu said the latest round of austerity efforts may not necessarily mean a decline in the number of Chinese civil servants.

“There is no conclusive evidence on the trend of China’s civil service. But official statistics on the workforce on government payrolls appear to have been gradually rising since Xi came to power in 2012, because Xi needs to deploy more manpower to ensure stability.

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Based on figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, the number of urban employees in public administration, social security and other organizations rose from 15.4 million in 2012 to nearly 20 million in 2022. The percentage of public sector employees in total urban employment rose from 10. In cent to 12 percent in the same period.

Wu pointed out that the government’s limited budget – resulting from weak land sale revenues and a decline in economic activity in general – may be a compelling reason for the Chinese government to freeze its employee numbers.

In 2023, all mainland provinces and municipalities except Fujian Province recorded budget deficits. Henan Province’s income reached 451 billion yuan (62 billion US dollars), but expenditures amounted to 1.106 trillion yuan (152 billion US dollars), resulting in a staggering deficit of 655 billion yuan (90 billion US dollars), according to the provincial government’s work report.



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