The current focus and strength of employment stabilization


  Employment is the most basic support for economic development.

my country has always attached great importance to employment work, taking employment work as an important part of improving people's livelihood and well-being, and has continuously made positive progress in improving the quality of employment and people's income level.

General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that employment is the biggest people's livelihood project, the people's popular project, and the foundation project, and it is an important guarantee for social stability.

This year's "Government Work Report" proposes that the goal of employment in 2022 is to create more than 11 million new urban jobs, and the urban surveyed unemployment rate to be controlled within 5.5% throughout the year.

Based on a comprehensive study of the domestic and international situation, the risks and challenges faced by my country's development have increased significantly this year. To achieve the goal of stabilizing employment, we must grasp the key factors that cause labor market fluctuations and implement active employment policies in a targeted manner according to the changing characteristics of the employment situation. .

  Grasp the direction of stable employment

  Maintaining an appropriate economic growth rate is an important prerequisite for maintaining the stability of the labor market. For this reason, the goal setting of macro-control and the selection of policy tools are based on whether employment stability can be achieved.

This year's "Government Work Report" clearly pointed out that the setting of the expected economic growth target mainly considers the needs of stabilizing employment, protecting people's livelihood and preventing risks.

Among them, judging the nature and cause of unemployment is very important for determining economic growth rate and other goals and implementing targeted employment policies.

  The nature of the so-called unemployment is to judge the main contradiction causing unemployment according to the relationship between the operation of the labor market and the operation of the economy.

Generally speaking, there are two types of unemployment we observe, namely cyclical unemployment caused by economic fluctuations and natural unemployment caused by frictional and structural factors.

Specifically, when the economy is running smoothly, the actual economic growth rate is close to the potential economic growth rate. At this time, the unemployment rate and the price level are in a relatively balanced state, and natural unemployment is the main contradiction to be solved in the governance of unemployment.

The control of natural unemployment mainly focuses on medium and long-term measures such as optimizing the employment structure and improving the operating efficiency of the labor market.

When there is a gap in aggregate demand in the economy, cyclical unemployment is prone to occur. At this time, the economic growth rate is below the potential growth level, and the lack of total employment is the main contradiction in the labor market.

To solve cyclical unemployment, we must start with the relationship between economic growth and employment, and make up for the gap in aggregate demand through loose macroeconomic policies, increase jobs, and restore balance between supply and demand in the labor market.

This year's "Government Work Report" clearly states the relationship between achieving economic growth goals and stabilizing employment, which is very necessary under the current circumstances.

To judge the relationship between economic growth and employment stability, we should pay attention to the proportional relationship between cyclical unemployment and natural unemployment. The quantitative relationship between the two determines the direction and intensity of the active employment policy.

  Before the outbreak, although economic growth had also been hit by different factors, the economic growth rate had been maintained near the potential growth level.

The labor market situation remained generally stable, and the surveyed urban unemployment rate remained at around 5%.

At present, my country's economy has shifted from a stage of high-speed growth to a stage of high-quality development. As long as the economic growth rate is maintained near the potential growth rate, there will be no demand gap that will lead to a significant increase in unemployment.

What needs to be seen is that the outbreak of the epidemic has not only impacted economic growth, but also greatly disrupted the operation of the labor market. Short-term growth fluctuations have a greater impact on employment stability.

Therefore, in order to implement the work goals set forth in this year's "Government Work Report", we must continue to do a good job of "six stability" and "six guarantees", strengthen inter- and counter-cyclical adjustments, and make good use of demand management tools to stabilize employment and ensure economic stability. Operation provides strong support.

  The key is to protect market players

  It cannot be ignored that the epidemic has had a continuous impact on the development of some industries.

Due to the different degrees of impact of the epidemic on different industries, the effect of policies to stabilize employment varies between different industries and different groups.

Therefore, it is necessary to grasp the employment characteristics of various groups in various industries and the degree of influence of cyclical factors on these industries and groups, and implement targeted policy measures.

  For example, the analysis shows that industries such as manufacturing, wholesale and retail, transportation, and accommodation and catering are not only employment-intensive industries, but also industries that are more sensitive to the impact of the epidemic.

Therefore, targeted assistance should be given to these industries with employment priority as the starting point.

Another example is that the impact of the epidemic has been uneven, and it is also reflected in the fact that industries with concentrated flexible employment have been greatly affected.

"Stable employment" is an important basis for achieving progress while maintaining stability. From the perspective of the implementation process of the "six stability" and "six guarantees" policies, the main means to achieve "stable employment" and "ensure the employment of residents" is to protect market entities.

Flexible employment personnel and small and micro enterprises are also an important part of market entities. Therefore, in the actual implementation of the policy to protect market entities, the accuracy of the policy must be improved, so that the policy effect can truly reach small and micro enterprises and flexible employment groups.

Another example is the issue of youth employment.

For young people who have newly entered the labor market, their jobs come from two sources: the creation of new jobs and the adjustment of existing jobs.

Under the situation that the overall supply and demand relationship in the labor market tends to be tense due to the impact of the epidemic, in order to solve the employment problem of young people who have newly entered the labor market, and to maintain the stability of the original employment pattern, it is necessary to achieve employment in the labor market. Pareto improvement.

Therefore, it is necessary to increase policy support, adhere to the combination of cross-cyclical adjustment and counter-cyclical adjustment, prudently introduce policies with a contractionary effect, and guide market expectations, so as to better stabilize market confidence and promote youth employment.

  Targeted use of policy tools

  In general, the task of stabilizing employment in 2022 is still arduous, and the main policy measures to stabilize the labor market should focus on the continued impact of the impact of the epidemic, and use policy tools to stabilize employment in a targeted manner.

  On the one hand, it is necessary to strengthen the follow-up study and judgment of the employment situation.

To achieve the work goal of "controlling the urban surveyed unemployment rate within 5.5% throughout the year", we must not only pay attention to changes in the overall unemployment rate, but also analyze and judge changes in the composition of unemployment in a timely manner.

Only by grasping the changes in the proportional relationship between cyclical unemployment and natural unemployment can we make the policy of stabilizing employment more targeted.

  On the other hand, it is necessary to pay more attention to the important role of the policy of stabilizing growth in maintaining the stability of the labor market.

Due to the intertwined impact of the epidemic on the total employment and structure, higher requirements have been put forward for macro-control policies and employment stabilization policies.

This year's "Government Work Report" clearly stated that "fiscal, taxation, financial and other policies should be implemented with priority around employment."

In this regard, fiscal policy should be more active and effective, ensure the intensity of expenditure, accelerate the progress of expenditure, improve policy precision, expand the scope of the direct mechanism for normalized fiscal funds, and study and introduce larger-scale tax and fee reduction measures; monetary policy should maintain liquidity. Reasonable and sufficient, make efforts ahead, comprehensively use various policy tools to guide financial institutions to expand credit supply, support the development of the real economy, and reduce the financing cost of small and medium-sized enterprises.

All these will help stabilize market entities and ensure employment, and consolidate the foundation for stable economic operation and quality improvement.

This year's "Government Work Report" also emphasized the implementation of measures to stabilize employment.

Including continuing the implementation of phased employment stabilization policies such as reducing unemployment and work-related injury insurance rates; strengthening flexible employment services, improving flexible employment social security policies, and launching new employment forms of occupational injury protection pilots; and so on.

For some industries where flexible employment is concentrated, it is necessary to appropriately use macro policy tools to restore vitality to the service industry, which has been greatly affected by the epidemic, so as to achieve the goal of stabilizing and maintaining employment.

It should also be noted that under the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, it is necessary to continuously improve the regular employment stabilization mechanism.

Considering the characteristics of the current epidemic, we can consider giving full play to the advantages of mutual insurance, and compensate small and micro enterprises that temporarily suspend economic activities due to the epidemic, so that they can tide over the difficulties and quickly resume economic activities and maintain employment after the epidemic. Stablize.

  Employment, which is linked to the general economic trend at one end and thousands of households at the other, is the biggest livelihood project and an important guarantee for social stability.

At present, there are still many uncertainties in the global economic recovery and epidemic prevention and control. The foundation for the stable recovery of the domestic economy still needs to be further consolidated. The employment situation faces certain risks and uncertainties. We must continue to put the promotion of employment in a more prominent position. , identify the current focus on stabilizing employment and make precise efforts, increase the implementation of macro policies, focus on stabilizing market players and ensuring employment, maintain the overall stability of employment, and achieve more adequate and higher-quality employment.

  (The author is a researcher at the Research Center for Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, and deputy director of the Institute of Population and Labor Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)