Digital transformation creates new types of jobs in China

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A staff member checks data through a digital platform called “smart village” in Baihu village, Changle district in Fuzhou, southeast China’s Fujian province, April 21, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

BEIJING — Digital transformation and technological innovation have created new professions requiring new skills and knowledge in various industries as part of China’s efforts to promote high-quality development.

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

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

The increase in digital waves has affected the labor market in various ways, for example by offering more types of work. The revised list identifies 97 professions related to the digital sectors.

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

A program has been launched to provide training for engineers in digital technology, 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% from 2012 to 2021. Over the period, the digital economy’s share of its GDP grew from 20.9% to 39.8 percent, representing an average annual increase of about 2.1 percentage points, according to a white paper on the global digital economy published by the Chinese Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

The latest edition of the list also features occupations within the country’s emerging industries such as crypto engineering, carbon management and fintech.

By adding the new types of jobs to the list, it is expected to stimulate 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 to revise the reference book by adding new types of works, and released 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 vocational training courses to cultivate more talents.

China has increased spending from its general government budget to improve people’s livelihoods and maintain labor market stability this year.

Spending 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, according to data from the Ministry of Social Security. Finance.

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