One Mundane Gov’t Job Attracts Nearly 8,000 Applicants In China

REUTERS/China Daily

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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Over one million people registered for China’s civil service exam, but there is one job in particular that thousands of Chinese are after.

Seven thousand, seven hundred and twenty-seven people applied to work in an office for a political party without influence or power. These applicants want to be the head of the reception office at the China Democratic League in Beijing, reports CNN Money.

Involving event planning, meeting scheduling, and party reception services, the job is outrageously mundane, but it’s the most popular among the open civil service positions.

The China Democratic League is one of eight political parties that exist outside of the Communist Party of China (CPC). China is formally a multi-party state, despite the fact that the country is dominated by the CPC. Other parties are allowed to exist simply to counter criticisms of China’s one-party state, but they are completely powerless within the Chinese system.

While the league is unaffiliated with the ruling party, positions with the league are still central government positions. Jobs with the government are highly sought after in China. The government is referred to as the “golden rice bowl” because positions with the government offer stability and numerous opportunities. For example, jobs with the government can lead to positions within the CPC.

The job with the China Democratic League is reportedly popular because of the minimal requirements for acceptance and the location. Applicants need only a bachelor’s degree and two years of work experience to be considered, and the job is located in the capital city.

While thousands applied for one job with the China Democratic League, other positions had no applicants. These positions are located in less-appealing areas, require long commitments, have poor working conditions, and have high work loads.

The State Civil Service Administration encouraged test takers Thursday to apply for some of the less popular positions rather than simply shooting for the most attractive jobs. “By all means, avoid blindly setting your sights too high,” it explained.

Around a million Chinese people apply to take the civil service exam every year; however, numbers have been slightly lower in recent years. In 2014, the number of applicants was down by 110,000, and of the 1.4 million applicants, around one-third reportedly never showed up for the test. Some analysts attribute the drop to President Xi Jinping’s ruthless anti-corruption campaign, which has investigated over one million officials and sent countless government officials to prison.

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