In China 1.2 Million Candidates Apply For 19,000 Government Jobs

Tyler Durden's picture

The difficulty of US workers to obtain "desirable" jobs has been noted here previously. Recall in 2012 when Delta received 22,000 applications for about 300 flight attendant jobs in the first week after posting the positions outside the company (which was an improvement from 2010, when the Atlanta-based carrier received 100,000 applications for 1,000 jobs when it last hired flight attendants in October 2010). Or when in 2011 McDonalds hired 62,000 minimum wage applicants out of one million total applicants. However, that is nothing compared to the job seeking frenzy in China, where as AFP reports, more than one million people took China's national civil service exam at the weekend in a modern version of an age-old rite, but faced huge odds against clinching one of the few government jobs available. A total of 1.12 million took the National Public Servant Exam, according to figures from the State Administration of Civil Service figures. How many total job openings were there? A tiny 19,000 according to China's Global Times, meaning less than 1 on 50 would be successful.

But that's just the tip of the scramble. According to AFP, the most competitive role was with the National Ethnic Affairs Commission, where 14,384 candidates were vying for just two jobs. Why the surge in applicants? "Domestic reports said it was so popular because the application process appeared to be less arduous than for other positions." Somehow math suggest that over 7,000 applicants for one job means a somewhat more "arduous" application process, not less.

As for the allure of government jobs, the story here is well-known: job safety coupled with an easy living in which one isn't expected to do much of anything:

Government jobs are especially appealing to Chinese because they are seen as stable employment and bring with them a range of privileges, as well as the status of being an official. The benefits can include living allowances, pensions, health insurance and even property -- a valuable commodity in China's prolonged housing boom.


The current civil service test is a legacy of the ancient imperial examination known as the keju, introduced during the Sui Dynasty, which ruled from 580-618 AD, and often regarded as a key meritocratic element of the governing system.


Early forms of the examinations were largely based on Confucian texts. They were open only to boys who were able to complete their education, either because of family wealth or sponsorship by benefactors.

In the US the pinnacle of professional development may mean ending up as a hedge fund billionaire on Twitter and moving stocks with nothing but a buy or sell recommendation in under 140 characters, but in China it is all about the government jobs:

The tests were only held every three years, and local officials would often present those who passed with a special banner to be hung at the entrance to their home, to ensure the success was remembered for generations.

The amusing nature of this process was not lost on the locals:

Many posters on Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, ridiculed the candidates. "This really is China's peculiar landscape", said one poster with the username "Law and its value".


"Do they really want to pass the test to 'serve the people'? No. They desperately hope to go and enjoy a privileged system of wages."


Another said: "Every time (they take the test), they are in fact just competing to be able to take bribes and bend the law."


Other netizens asked whether more civil servants were needed in China, following government pledges to cut down on bureaucracy.


"Who wouldn't want to have a job that is guaranteed for life?" said one netizen.


"But the real question should be: 'Is it really necessary to recruit tens of thousands of civil servants every year?'"

The answer: of course it is. How else can the world's second most centrally-planned economy and market (after the US of course) preserve the illusion of 7%+ growth unless it created as many government jobs as needed to fill the daily growing slack. But if you think 7000 applicants for 1 "desired" job is bad, wait until the full impact of China's easing of its 1 child policy is felt...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
highly debtful's picture

Talk about leverage.

sgorem's picture

as one Chinese applicant, Wun Hung Lo was overheard saying, "i'm not too worried about getting a job here, the government will pay for my visa and a one way plane ticket to the USA, where I can get free medical care, green card, EBT, a brand new drivers license with my picture on it, voting rights, a new obummer phone, the opportunity to purchase a brand spanking new SUV with nothing down and zero % interest to park in my brand new no down payment house,with 3 car garage, backed by the US government. I'll have the ability to garner a zero % small business loan for minorities to open up a 7 Eleven or chinese take-out. I'll be livin as good as any illegal immigrant could possibly dream of in the country of the good and plenty, shit, who needs a job."

walküre's picture

Fucking leeches everywhere

Government jobs are especially appealing to Chinese because they are seen as stable employment and bring with them a range of privileges, as well as the status of being an official. The benefits can include living allowances, pensions, health insurance and even property

Groundhog Day's picture

better odds at the roulette table, no wonder Macau is doing so well

Rainman's picture

Just hire the ones with the biggest tits and be done with it.

Skateboarder's picture

As I heard one dude say, "I just want an office and a secretary with big tits."

XAU XAG's picture



They would be hireing all forieners then!


Last time I looked Chinks are not exactly good in the TiT department!

iLiquid's picture

In 2004, the provincial government of Hunan titillated the Chinese nation by one of its criteria for female recruits: the tits must be sufficiently symmetric.

RaceToTheBottom's picture

Faux Meritocracy.

It's what's for dinner

Save_America1st's picture

so many sheople scrambling to be a boot lickin', soul-less, government lacky. 

Dare to dream...


Contrasted by this link right at the top of ZH. LOL

Thai Capital Plagued By the Biggest Anti-Government Protests in Years

More than 100,000 protesters congregated at Democracy Monument in Bangkok yesterday to protest Thai PM Yingluck Shiniwatra’s consideration of an amnesty bill to pardon her banned brother Thaksin...

ItsDanger's picture

And people wonder why wages havent grown over the past several years?

iLiquid's picture

And girls. Girls love to be fucked by a public servant. Hybristophilia is a Confucian virtue.

Sockeye's picture

Hybristophilia? Had to look that one up!

forwardho's picture

+1 for expanding my vocabulary.

Zero Debt's picture

In other news: Chairwich Yellen diagnosed with symphorophilia.

LFMayor's picture

Hey, I see AnAnon!  Third from the left in the 234th row!

Zero Debt's picture

That may explain why he is not bloggifying on ZH recently. Wish him well by the road side on the bicycle, as always, and so on.

no more banksters's picture

The illusion of the self-regulating society through the deregulated market

SheepDog-One's picture

The main problem seems to be a huge over supply of humans....I'm sure the central planners are working out a plan to remedy that next.

SmallerGovNow2's picture

That's the one that should keep us all awake at night...

Rainman's picture

Why ? see one human, you've seen them all.

forwardho's picture

You are too right, One unfunded liability looks just like another.

Right now, somewhere, You are naught but a number to a faceless .gov puke.

Skateboarder's picture

But can he do styley kickflips?

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

This is the poster child as to why the Chinese CB can't afford to buy anymore U.S. debt and will peg it's future oil purchases to the Yuan.

Stoploss's picture

Hu, dis for you.

Pretty soon, your "workforce" look like 'dis..

Dat, 'cause o dis

Which make 'dis, look like dis..

Working flawlessly o'hea.

Hang in there...

Bobbyrib's picture

If I were rich and in the Chinese communist party, I would be looking for my exit right about now. When their economy goes through a recession, hundreds of millions will be starving. Time to leave..

iLiquid's picture

Concerns for people starving automatically disqualify you from a party job post.

LFMayor's picture

I'm pretty sure he's worried about them eating him, not them eating.

kralizec's picture

It all ends with Soylent Green.

Bobbyrib's picture

A. I wouldn't want any government position


B. If people do start starving starting iin the outer provinces coming inwards toward Shanghai, people are going to target government officials. Mark my words.

Son of Captain Nemo's picture


Probably the same place the Washington D.C. and New York banking establishment will be headed as well.

XAU XAG's picture

And the Exam was


A for 1

B for 2

C for 3

or D for 4?


Hmmmmmm getting hungry now!

vyeung's picture

government jobs in China attract the best and brightest as the pay is ok and you get a decent retirement benefit. Also, government power is second to non. Its a big place with a large population. With so many mouths to feed, I believe the Chinese Government is doing a fair job when all things considered. Corruption, inequiality and all the nasty things are still there but then again its rampant in the US too.

walküre's picture

See, that right there is a problem. The best and brightest should be entrepreneurs and drive innovation. Instead every economy is so fucked up with massive governments stealing just about all productivity and talents from their serf population.

Government does not create jobs. Government is a nuisance. A powerful middle man keeping the people stupid and starving.

I believe the Chinese Government is doing a fair job when all things considered.

You believe that Lady Gaga was giving Santa a blow job if you read it. The Chinese government is about the most corrupt of all and hundreds of shady deals are going on in their building and infrastructure sector. Wealthy Chinese are always connected to politics. Doesn't work any other way there.

Where Central Planning is the religion, you better become a firm believer or you're on the street shitting in the gutters (common occurrence in China).

vyeung's picture

now if your assertions were correct then I guess the US Governments unaccounted for $4.3 Trillion is just pocket change for the American people. Get real and stop watching that crappy box that poops out propaganda like Ghandi. There are many entreprenurs in China, just the government provides many opportunities to rise to the very top (You get to control everything LOL). Just becoz the corruption is more obvious in China doesn't mean the US is by any measures cleaner or better. Just more complexity to cover the crap they spoon feed the general population. American's think they have a democratic vote, but then its all rigged and whoever you choose is already brought by the people with real power. Its like walking into Vega, only the LOOSER thinks he can beat the HOUSE.

Chump's picture

"Its a big place with a large population. With so many mouths to feed, I believe the Chinese Government is doing a fair job..."


This holiday season, I am also especially thankful for government.  Without government, how could I ever do something so complicated as feeding myself?  It would be well-nigh impossible without the "second to non" power that government so graciously weilds.  Thank you government, a thousand times over.

In all seriousness though, stfu and gtfo, shill.

vyeung's picture

you better get on a plane before you speak. I guess the furthest you've been is probably down to the drive-by McDonalds in Vegas. Plus, many American's need to thank the government as there are so many on food stamps. I'm not pro government, just providing the obvious facts.

Chump's picture

Meh, I've lived all over the world (but never been to Vegas, no real desire to visit either).  If you think it's an obvious fact that government exists to "feed mouths," well, then you're also probably dumb enough to use apostrophes to denote plurality.

Trimmed Hedge's picture

I just came back from China..

They are kicking our asses over there!

pitz's picture

No different here in the United States.  Firms like Google and various other firms in the tech sector receive 1000 applications per position hired (and most of the hiring is done of insiders anyways). 

GeorgeHayduke's picture

I hear the government office buildings don't have suicide nets over the higher floors, so it's an upgrade from a factory slave job.

NEOSERF's picture

Getting a job is about like a lottery ticket in this day and age.

NEOSERF's picture

Getting a job is about like a lottery ticket in this day and age.

conspicio's picture

And the other critical part of this story Tylers...there are government jobs even 1.2 million Chinese won't do...


Hmmm, can a Mexican swim the Pacific?


Jack Burton's picture

I love it! They know where to get their bread buttered. And think of the bribes they can extort from every worker and small business man. A government job is a lottery ticket. You win the fucking moon! America has a middle class still, I see it around me. But most of it is made up of American Government Workers. School District, City, County, State, Federal and all the cops from FBI down to city beat cop. All building McMansions and doing well. Meanwhile the private sector wage earner and small business man is being fucking killed dead!