Despite the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic, China's new economy sectors have shown strong resilience and vitality with booming demand for, and supply of, talent in the job market.
Even though overall hiring demand witnessed a dip in 2022 compared to the previous year, job opportunities in emerging sectors, such as carbon neutrality and new energy vehicles, jumped notably last year, according to a new report.
The carbon neutrality sector witnessed the highest growth rate for the number of job postings in 2022, which nearly quadrupled that of the previous year. The number in the NEV sector almost tripled, while the number in the electronic chips industry rose nearly 150 percent in 2022, said the report by Chinese professional networking platform Maimai.
Notably, artificial intelligence and new biomedicine industries also saw rising talent demand, as the number of job postings jumped 57.6 percent and 39.2 percent, respectively.
Against such a background, a growing number of people in China are turning to jobs in booming new economy sectors.
For instance, the number of job seekers in the NEV sector more than tripled from the previous year, while that in the carbon neutrality field rose by over 100 percent.
According to the report, AI topped all fields in terms of the ratio of demand for talent divided by the number of job seekers, pointing to an acute talent shortage. That was followed by electronic chips, NEVs and smart hardware.
"Similar to what happened in 2003 and 2013 when the internet and mobile internet became strong driving forces boosting economic growth during past decades, new economy sectors, such as AI, electronic chips, NEVs, carbon neutrality and new biomedicine, point to huge growth potential to serve as key engines driving growth in the next decade," said Lin Fan, founder and chief executive officer of Maimai.
Lin said with the gradual recovery of the economy and the deep integration of the digital and real economies, middle and high-end talent will likely turn to jobs in new economy sectors.
Looking ahead into 2023, he said the labor market will recover gradually in the spring job-hunting season, as the "worst moment is over".
Kang Yi, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at a recent news briefing that the emerging new economy sectors are playing an increasingly important role in boosting China's economic growth, which will create more jobs in the market and inject impetus into the country's future development.
According to the NBS, investment in high-tech industries jumped 18.9 percent year-on-year last year, 13.8 percentage points higher than total investment.
Notably, investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services jumped 22.2 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively.
Guo Liyan, director of the Comprehensive Situation Research Office of the Academy of Macroeconomic Research — which is part of the National Development and Reform Commission — highlighted the rapid growth of investment in high-tech manufacturing and high-tech services, saying new economy sectors such as NEVs, new materials and solar have witnessed double-digit and even triple-digit growth in the number of new products.
"The blossoming new economy sectors will help further energize market entities, support stable economic recovery and add more jobs," Guo said.
NBS data showed China's high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing output soared by 7.4 percent and 5.6 percent in 2022, respectively, which was 3.8 percentage points and 2 percentage points faster than overall industrial output growth.
Specifically, the production of NEVs, telecommunication base stations and industrial computers all witnessed year-on-year growth, registering increases of 97.5 percent, 16.3 percent and 15 percent, respectively, last year.
In fact, the booming new economy sector has brought new growth opportunities for urban development.
Beijing topped all other cities in terms of job opportunities in the internet and AI sectors, while Shanghai gained the top spot in terms of NEV job opportunities. Meanwhile, Hangzhou in East China's Zhejiang province ranked third in terms of the number of AI job opportunities, according to Maimai.
While first-tier cities Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong province won the top 3 places for inflows of talent, non-first-tier cities such as Chengdu in Sichuan province, Nanjing in Jiangsu province and Wuhan in Hubei province also made their names on the list of top 10 cities for talent inflows, Maimai said in the report.
After years of development, China has joined the top ranks globally in several emerging sectors including NEVs and solar, said IDG Capital partner Niu Kuiguang.
For instance, China's installed capacity for hydro, wind, solar and biomass power generation has gained top spots worldwide, said the National Energy Administration.
Yu Qian, CEO and founder of Chinese autonomous driving startup QCraft Inc, said the emerging new economy sectors such as AI are entering a stage of rapid development, adding that there is an increasing need for talent with diverse backgrounds.
Seeing the huge growth potential of the emerging new economy sector, the government is taking solid steps to speed up the construction of new infrastructure, which typically involves several key fields including 5G and data centers.
The National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic regulator, said at a recent news conference that a batch of investments will be allocated from the central budget around Spring Festival to support the construction of major new infrastructure projects. Notably, the country will strongly increase spending on developing information networks in remote central and western regions, it added.
Charlie Zheng, chief economist at Samoyed Cloud Technology Group Holdings Ltd, highlighted the importance of accelerating the development of new infrastructure, saying more efforts should also be made to boost digital trade, especially in the fields of big data, AI and cloud services.
Zheng said the new economy — including both the digital and green economies — will play a key role in driving the economic rebound in 2023, saying the digital economy has accounted for around 40 percent of China's economy.
"The green economy will provide sufficient energy for the development of the digital economy, while the digital economy will offer technological support for the green economy," Zheng said. "Their development will accelerate the upgrading of traditional industries and foster high-quality economic growth. I expect that China can build such new growth models by 2025."
(Source: China Daily)
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