Companies in all nine regions of China planned to increase hiring, according to the survey. But the level of hiring intentions declined in seven of those regions, notably in Beijing and Shanghai.
The report characterized the labor market in the capital city as “quiet” and said Shanghai “employers anticipate limited payroll gains.”
Shenzhen and Chengdu, both considered up-and-coming cities, also reported declines in the hiring outlook, the survey showed. The jobs outlook for the Central and West regions was unchanged, while the report said Guangzhou employers were the most optimistic on hiring.
Among six industries, the mining and construction sector was the only one with a positive improvement in the outlook, compared with a year ago, the survey said.
China’s national unemployment rate officially remains relatively low, near 5 percent or less. Last week, the government announced it plans to target the creation of 11 million urban jobs and keep the survey-based urban unemployment rate around 5.5 percent. Finance Minister Liu Kun also said Beijing plans to spend 53.9 billion yuan ($8 billion) on employment subsidies this year, an increase of 14.9 percent.