February 15, 2022
BEIJING – China’s flexible employment population reached 200 million at the end of last year, an official from the National Bureau of Statistics said recently.
More than 1.6 million people are working in jobs related to livestreaming, an increase of nearly 300 percent between 2020 and 2021, the official said.
Over the past two years, 16 percent of all college graduates in China chose flexible employment, according to data from the China Higher Education Student Information and Career Center.
“In retrospect, my career began with flexible employment,” said Liu Zhen, a special effects producer who graduated 5 years ago.
After graduation, Liu chose to become a content uploader on Bilibili, a popular online video sharing and entertainment platform in China, and created videos with special effects.
Many viewers love Liu’s works, and the resulting internet traffic on her channel earned her the opportunity to work for a professional media team.
“Choosing flexible employment does not mean that you can’t find a job, nor does it mean you just ‘do odd jobs’. It is a new career model”, Liu said.
Liu believes flexible employment gives job seekers the opportunity to choose to “fly alone”, to explore their career directions while developing their personal strengths, talents and interests.
In the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25) for Digital Economy Development released by the State Council in January, individuals are encouraged to use new online platforms such as social media, knowledge distribution, audio and video sharing websites for employment and entrepreneurship to promote flexible employment and part-time job innovation.
Flexible employment has not only become a career path for graduates, but also provides a new and convenient way for companies to contract employees. Emerging career models will continue to attract more flexibly employed labor forces as policy supports and assurances improve, experts said.
According to the China Development Report on Flexible Employment (2022) released by researchers at Renmin University of China, 61.14 percent of Chinese companies were using flexible employment in 2021, an increase of 5.46 percent over 2020.
Compared with the traditional long-term employment model, the advantage of flexible employment lies in less strenuous entrance and exit mechanisms. On one hand, job seekers enjoy a lower threshold in job opportunities and the option to leave at any time. On the other hand, companies enjoy more leeway with employee selection and allocation.