28 June 2018

Graduates in China see worsening employment prospects

A new paper co-authored by Professor Ka Ho Mok reveals that graduates are facing worsening employment prospects in China.

The paper explores the influence of the massification of higher education on the Chinese graduate labour market.

The findings show that university graduates who graduated within the last three years see lower economic benefits from higher education than those who graduated in 2005 and 2006. In addition, recent graduates are likely to work in the urban informal sector, unlike their senior counterparts.

These findings can partially be explained by a skills mismatch in the labour market, according to the authors. Massification has led to an oversupply of graduates with general academic degrees but resulted in the shortage of graduates with vocational and technical skills and qualifications relevant to the requirements of the labour market.

Professor Mok and his co-author Jiwei Qian suggest that bringing a broader political economy perspective into the analysis would enable a more comprehensive understanding of graduate unemployment in China.

Massification of higher education and youth transition: skills mismatch, informal sector jobs and implications for China is published in Journal of Education and Work.