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Competition for white collar jobs intensifies in China

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During what tends to be a slow season for recruitment, the final months of 2016 saw a rise in the amount of applications for white collar jobs in China, with an average of 41 applications per vacancy. The most competitive sector was online games, with 70 applications per vacancy. The increase reverses the declining trend seen in each of the three previous quarters.

These are some of the findings from the 2016 fourth-quarter report on China labour market supply and demand for white-collar workers. The report was published by Zhaopin, one of China’s biggest career platforms aimed at connecting users with relevant job opportunities.

While the average amount of applications went up from 38 to 41, Beijng saw a much larger increase with 93.5 applications per vacancy in the fourth quarter of 2016, up from 78.5 in the quarter before. In addition to being the most competitive, the capital city also continued to offer the highest pay with an average monthly salary of RMB 9,835 (HKD 10,968).

Other high-paying cities were Shanghai (HKD 10,840), Shenzhen (HKD 9,635) and Guangzhou (HKD 8,758). Countrywide the average monthly salary rose slightly to RMB7,606 (HKD 8,483) in the fourth quarter of 2016 from RMB7,531 (HKD 8,399) in the third quarter of 2016.

Among job postings in the fourth quarter of 2016, 31.8% of positions offered monthly salaries of RMB 4,001 to 6,000 (HKD 4,462 to 6,691), and 28.1% offered monthly salaries of more than RMB 8,000 (HKD 8,922). Only 19.2% of positions offered monthly salaries below RMB 4,000 (HKD 4,460).

The best paying sector continued to be the professional services and consulting sector, including finance and accounting, legal, and HR, with an average monthly salary of RMB 10,599 (HKD 11,821).

At RMB 9,348 (HKD 10,425) per month, companies with fewer than 20 employees on average offered a much higher salary than bigger companies. “These micro-sized companies had to offer higher salaries to compete with bigger companies which had more advantages in brand reputation, training and career development”, Zhaopin’s press release states.

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