On the morning of March 13, 2023, after the closing of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress, Premier Li Qiang attended the press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and answered questions from Chinese and foreign journalists.
The reporter asked: Internet users have paid high attention to some hot issues of people's livelihood. I would like to ask the Prime Minister that the employment situation in China this year is still grim. What measures will the government take to stabilize employment? Last year, China experienced a negative population growth that has not occurred for many years. Does this mean that the demographic dividend will soon disappear? Will there be a delayed retirement policy this year?
I am very willing to respond to the concerns of netizens. I will go online whenever I have time to see what netizens are concerned about and what good suggestions I have. Just now, you actually raised three questions.
The first problem is employment. Employment is the foundation of people's livelihood. The most fundamental way to solve the employment problem is to develop the economy. In specific work, we will fully implement the employment priority strategy, further increase policy support in employment services, skills training and other aspects, take multiple measures to stabilize and expand employment, and support and standardize the development of new forms of employment. This year's college graduates are expected to be 11.58 million. From the perspective of employment, there is some pressure, but from the perspective of development, they are injected with vigorous vitality. We will further expand employment channels and help young people better realize their life value through work and struggle.
The second problem is negative population growth. China's population growth has changed from positive to negative. Some people worry about whether the population dividend will disappear. I don't think it is that simple. The population dividend depends not only on the total amount, but also on the quality, not only on the population, but also on the talents. China has nearly 900 million labor force, with an annual increase of more than 15 million. The rich human resources are still China's outstanding advantage. More importantly, the number of people receiving higher education in China has exceeded 240 million, and the average number of years of education for the new labor force has reached 14 years. It can be said that our "demographic dividend" has not disappeared, "talent dividend" is taking shape, and the development momentum is still strong. Of course, we need to make in-depth analysis and judgment on the possible problems caused by population increase and decrease, and actively respond to them.
As for the issue of deferred retirement policy, we will carefully study and fully demonstrate it and launch it in due course.