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Digital transformation creates new types of employment in China

Xinhua Updated: 2022-10-08

BEIJING -- Digital transformation and technological innovation have brought about new professions requiring new skills and knowledge in various industries amid China's endeavors to promote high-quality development.

China has added 158 new professions to its list of recognized occupations since 2015, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security. It started the revision work in April last year in order to update the edition released in 2015.

This brings the total number of professions on the newly-revised list to 1,639, according to the ministry.

Increased digital waves have affected the labor market in a variety of ways, for example, providing more types of work. The revised list identifies 97 professions related to the digital sectors.

The move is designed to meet the employment demand of the booming digital economy and support its development, especially in technological innovation and talent team construction, said Wu Liduo, director of a technical guidance center for employment training of the ministry.

A program has been launched to provide training for digital technology engineers, which covers about 80,000 people every year, said Li Jinsheng, an official with the ministry.

China's digital economy grew at an average rate of 15.9 percent from 2012 to 2021. During the period, the share of the digital economy in its GDP expanded from 20.9 percent to 39.8 percent, representing an annual average increase of about 2.1 percentage points, according to a white paper on global digital economy released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

The latest edition of the list also features professions within the country's emerging industries such as cryptographic engineering, carbon management and financial technology.

By adding the new types of jobs to the list, it is expected to boost the development of related industries, increase employment, and strengthen vocational education and training.

In 1999, China published its first reference book on occupational classifications. In 2010, China started revising the reference book by adding new types of work and published the revised edition of the reference book in 2015.

The ministry said efforts have been made to formulate national standards for new professions and launch occupational training courses to cultivate more talent.

China has increased spending from its general public budget on improving people's livelihoods and keeping the job market stable this year.

Expenditure on social security and employment totaled 2.53 trillion yuan (about 365.05 billion U.S. dollars) in the first eight months of 2022, up 6.6 percent year on year, data from the Ministry of Finance showed.

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