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Higher Learning Dilemma> Archive
UPDATED: May 24, 2010 NO. 21 MAY 27, 2010
Why Do College Graduates Shun the Labor Market?

Zhang Tianpan (China Business Morning Post): Job assignment for college graduates is already history, and nowadays, students have many choices at graduation. Although jobs are not so easily accessible today, they enjoy full freedom of choice, which as a result also leads to job-hopping and refusals to become employed.

To blame college graduates for refusing jobs is unfair, because in saying so, people ignore the current situation of the free job market.

It's natural for people to seek better things in life. Employment, in essence, is a right, and graduates undoubtedly are entitled to this right. They are free to choose professions they are interested in and to get to higher platforms by job-hopping. Such a job concept deserves no blame.

Lei Lei (www.gmw.cn): Economists point out that, in normal conditions, the employment rate of a society is unable to reach 100 percent. Some people will stay unemployed because of their own choices. This is optional unemployment that results from job hunters' desires for a better life. It is helpful to improve labor distribution in various areas and also increase labor flows. Although talent mobility will lead to losses in some companies, this is the key to ensuring a vigorous talent market. We need to consider mobility against an overall social background, but not to focus on a certain point.

Everyone has the freedom to choose a job and no one has the obligation to serve at the same post for a lifetime. Working is not only a productive activity, but it relates to people's feeling of satisfaction and achievements. If the job presented to someone conflicts with his or her ideal, to refuse a job is an acceptable choice.

In the job market, college graduates are still the disadvantaged side. To blame them for refusing jobs or being too picky is actually to have the young people held accountable for the worsening unemployment.

The government should create good employment environment and help graduates to find ideal jobs, instead of keeping on criticizing them.

College graduates' employment is a complicated issue. It involves schools' education levels, the capacity of the employment market and students' personal traits.

At a time of insufficient employment opportunities, two-way selection in the job market seems more important than ever, as it helps the largest number of job hunters find jobs suitable for them. It's unfair to blame them for job-hopping just because job creation is a difficult task for the government. It's unfair to say job hunting is immoral and to keep on in an unsatisfactory job and sacrifice one's ideals is, instead, moral.

Han Jiangfeng (www.xinhuanet.com): Behind the "refusal of jobs" are various unfair treatments in the job market. It's normal to see differences between different work positions, but the gap should be kept within a certain scope.

For example, a recent report reveals that in south China's Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, a local government post offers a monthly salary of 7,000 yuan ($1,022) and allows the post holder to have tea break in teahouses. But, at the same time, a large number of people are engaged in longtime and low-paid jobs without even basic social security. In this situation, it's unacceptable to blame college students as picky.

In some cases, job-hunting is actually a competition of power and family connections. Of the students refusing to take offered jobs, many are from powerless, poor families. Officials should ponder the job refusal phenomenon and be frank about the unfairness in the employment process, rather than complaining about the students.

Wu Jie (www.dahe.cn): It's asked whether the students are picky and unwise to refuse job opportunities at a time of employment difficulties. Nonetheless, it's improper to impute all the problems to this group's alleged laziness and stupidity. If the jobs are suitable and offer acceptable payment, college graduates have no reason to refuse.

The reality is that the college curriculum arrangement does not match the pace of social development. Four years' money and energy investment is huge. If, after all the input, what waits are unsuitable and low-paid jobs, who would like to accept this result?

It's only natural for someone to say no to a job that does not interest them. Even the new generation of migrant workers has its own standards for jobs. Even if college graduates really are picky, it's understandable.

Rather than forcing unsuitable jobs on them, the departments concerned should be tolerant about picky students.

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