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The labour market in China showed continued improvement in the third quarter, driven by steady growth in the economy, according to the latest CIER Employment Index Report for the third quarter. The report is published by Zhaopin Limited, a Chinese career platform, and the China Institute for Employment Research (CIER) at Renmin University.

The CIER index for the labour market rose to 2.43 in the third quarter of 2017, up from 2.26 in the second quarter. The CIER index in the third quarter of 2017 was also higher than the score of 2.22 in the same period of 2016.

The upward momentum in the CIER index was caused by increasing labour demand, and a decline in job seekers in the third quarter. The steady economic growth created more job demand in the country. According to Zhaopin’s data, total online recruitment demand in China rose 47% year-over-year in the third quarter of 2017, compared with a 36% year-over-year growth in the second quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, the number of job seekers declined in the third quarter over the previous quarter, as it was the traditional slow season for job hopping.

The index showed that the Internet and e-commerce sector continued to be the highest-performing sector with the CIER index rising to 12.62 from 9.06 in the second quarter. while the electricity/power/water conservancy sector was the lowest (0.45).

Meanwhile, among regions, Eastern China saw the highest CIER index score of 2.14, followed by 1.92 for Central China and 1.63 for Western China.

Among cities, when compared with the second quarter, the CIER index increased for cities of all tiers in the third quarter of 2017, except for first-tier cites. The CIER index for first-tier cities was 0.68 in the third quarter, which the index states indicates a saturated labour market. First-tier cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The CIER index grew for small (1.42) and micro-sized companies (2.27) in the third quarter over the previous quarter, while the index declined for large (1.90) and medium-sized companies (1.01).

When broken down by company type, private companies posted the highest CIER index of 1.68 in the third quarter, followed by 1.50 for shareholding companies. Public companies posted lowest index for the third quarter with 0.65.

Zhaopin states that the CIER index is expected to continue its upward trend in the fourth quarter of 2017.