Seminar on Pro-employment Macroeconomic Policy

The seminar is jointly organized by the ILO, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS), and Beijing Normal University in Beijing with a focus on exchanging Chinese and international experiences to support the Chinese Government in developing it's pro-employment macroeconomic policy framework.

In May 2016, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made his work tour in the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) and instructed to establish a new employment policy framework which focuses on how the macroeconomic policy can build a more employment-friendly environment of economic development.

Employment had not been set as China’s targets of macroeconomic policies at the early stage of market economy reform during the 1980s and 1990s. In 2002, the State Council distributed the Circular on Further Promoting the Re-employment of Laid-off Workers, which marked the start of China’s active employment labour market policy. In the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, employment expansion was set as a high priority of China’s macroeconomic policy.

The economic growth in China has been slowing down in recent years as China has entered a “New Normal” development stage. In 2015, the Chinese Government initiated the “Supply-side Structural Reform” to trim overcapacity which would bring both opportunities and challenges to China’s labour market. Therefore, a reassessment of pro-employment macroeconomic policy is timely needed for the purpose of ensuring a smooth economic transition.

The ILO’s project on “The role of macroeconomic, sectoral and labour market policies to promote more and better jobs in selected middle income G20 countries” launched in 2014 is closely related to the Government’s need and interest on China’s employment-oriented policy development. Against this backdrop, the ILO was requested by the MOHRSS to jointly organize a seminar on pro-employment macroeconomic policy with a view to providing technical inputs by sharing knowledge and international practices on promoting more quality jobs through effective macroeconomic policies. The seminar provided a platform for Chinese and international experts to exchange ideas and research findings, and laid the foundation for drafting a comprehensive pro-employment policy framework in China.

Following topics were covered in the seminar, including:
  • Thematic reports based on recent studies
  • International and country experiences on pro-employment macroeconomic policies
  • Policy consultation towards a comprehensive employment policy framework in China
About 50 participants from the ILO, the MOHRSS and Beijing Normal University attended the seminar, including Ms Azita Berar Awad, Director of Employment Policy Department of the ILO; Ms Zhang Yizheng, Deputy Director of the MOHRSS; and Prof Liu Li, Vice Chairperson of Beijing Normal University.