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China Focus: More graduates choosing to work in second-tier cities
July 24,2017   By:Xinhua

BEIJING, July 24, 2017 -- After graduating from Tsinghua University this summer, Xu Yingqiang left Beijing to work for a chemical trading company in Chengdu, southwest China's Sichuan Province.

"In cities like Chengdu, I can still pursue my dreams, but without all the struggling," said the 24-year-old graduate.

This year, the number of China's college graduates is expected to reach 7.95 million, an increase of 300,000 on last year, according to the Ministry of Education.

Other than swarming into megacities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, more students want to start their careers in second-tier cities, including the provincial capitals and coastal cities, according to a recent survey.

The survey carried out by Zhaopin.com, one of China's leading recruitment websites, showed that 37.5 percent of China's new college graduates in 2017 wanted to work in second-tier cities, while 29.9 percent preferred top-tier cities.

"A few years ago, only a couple of students graduating from universities outside Chongqing came for our job interview, but this year we have a long queue of people with master's and doctoral degrees from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou," said Huang Zuge, an HR official in a Chongqing Internet company.

BOOMING ECONOMY

Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that besides Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, eight smaller metropolises stepped into China's 1-trillion-yuan (148 billion U.S. dollars) GDP club in 2016, including Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Suzhou and Hangzhou.

The rapid economic development of second-tier cities was the main factor attracting fresh graduates, said Su Hainan, vice president of the China Association for Labor Studies.

Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province and host city of the 2016 G20 summit, hit a record with double-digit GDP growth for seven consecutive quarters in 2015 and 2016.