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英语新闻:中国的“拼爹”现象体现在找工作上

2014-10-08    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

英语新闻:中国的“拼爹”现象体现在找工作上

They don't want to work in factories or farms, but at the same time, the white-collar lifestyle remains far out of reach.

For the 7.27 million Chinese students who graduated from college last year -- a number roughly 2.5 times the US figure -- the job market can be brutal: low salaries, long hours and the knowledge that there are millions of other people just waiting to replace you. Those realities look even harsher when you compare the bargain-basement salaries earned by the average Chinese young adult with the exorbitant wealth of China's well-connected.

"It's just ruthless out here," said Wu Shaomei, a chemistry master's student at Northwest University in Xi'an, as she surveyed the crowds of college grads vying for telemarketing jobs at a local job fair last week. "Everywhere you look in this city there are rich people driving luxury cars, but I could work these jobs a whole lifetime and never make enough to buy one of those tires."
China's glut of college grads has been described in national media as a triumph of state-orchestrated education expansion, but it's also created an expectation gap when it comes to the job market. New graduates, many of them first-generation students who grew up on farms, were raised to believe a college degree was a sure route to a comfortable life. But at end-of-summer job fairs, many of these graduates are finding themselves offered salaries lower than what factory workers earn.

In the early years of the Great Recession, some American youth saw the grim job market as an opportunity for "funemployment," but China has coined a different term: "gnawing on the old." The term refers to Chinese youth who don't earn enough to pay the bills, and thus end up "gnawing" through their parents' savings. With average starting salaries of $400 per month and just one day off a week, recent grads in major cities often have little hope of achieving anything resembling financial independence early in their careers.

"This kind of rapid expansion has never been seen -- not just in China, but anywhere in the world," said Xu Qingshan, a professor of education at Wuhan University's College of Education Science. "The fundamental reason behind the bad job market for graduates has been this huge expansion in enrollment."

Much of that growth has come from rural students who are often the first in their family to leave the farm. At school, they may encounter a cosmopolitan world their parents never dreamed of -- but once graduation rolls around, they face an even more grueling job search than their urban peers.

According to a study by Tian Feng of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the unemployment rate among college graduates from urban families is about 12 percent, while for graduates from rural backgrounds it's 30 percent. And the gap looks even wider when considering that recent graduates from urban backgrounds earn around 20 percent more than their rural peers.

"The urban-rural employment gap for college graduates is one of the clearest expressions of the hardening of barriers to social mobility," Tian told China National Radio in February. "This is having a major impact on social equity."

Wang Junying grew up in Red Star Village in rural Sichuan. As a middle school student, she spent her spare time collecting cow dung for the family's furnace, and in high school her summer job consisted of tending the flock of ducks that would later be sold to pay her tuition. When it came time for the college entrance exam, Wang's parents encouraged her, but also presented her with a backup plan.

"Before the test my dad told me, 'Don't worry. If you can't test into college I'll buy you a tractor,'" Wang recalled. "Back then, my only thought was that I've got to do whatever it takes to get into college. I just didn't want to drive a tractor."

After Wang finished a business English degree at a community college in Xi'an, her mother offered to arrange a teaching job for her at the village elementary school. But the position came with one hitch: It would take an $11,000 bribe just to secure the position, which paid around $4,000 per year.

Growth in decent jobs has lagged far behind the non-stop bumper crops of college grads, and competition for scarce positions often comes down to family connections and cold hard cash. China is almost two years into one of its most intense corruption crackdowns in decades, but young Chinese job-seekers still report being extorted for huge sums of money that dwarf their would-be salaries.


Knowing her farming family would have trouble paying the needed money, Wang remained in Xi'an and eventually found a job teaching English for about $300 a month -- a salary comparable to what she would have earned at the other job, without the burden of the accompanying bribe.

The pay-to-play nature of China's job market means that while wealthy urban youth can "gnaw" on their parents' money and networks to get ahead, young men and women from the countryside are often left with nothing but middling diplomas.

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据美国《赫芬顿邮报》网站报道,中国的毕业生们不想去做工或种地,但白领生活方式始终遥不可及。

美媒称,对今年毕业的727万中国大学生来说,就业市场可能十分严峻:薪水低,工时长,数百万其他人随时等着顶替你。若把中国普通年轻人的微薄工资与那些有门路中国人的巨额财富相比,这些现实就愈发残酷了。
 
西安市西北大学化学系硕士生吴晓梅(音)上周参加了当地的一个招聘会,看着眼前争夺电信营销岗位的大学生人群,她感叹:“形势太无情了,在这座城市里,放眼望去到处都是开豪车的有钱人,而我可能从事这些工作一辈子也买不起那些车的一个轮胎。”

国家媒体称大学毕业生供过于求是政府扩招计划的成就,但它也造成了就业市场上的期望差距。新毕业生当中有很多人是在农村长大的,他们从小被灌输的信念是:上了大学就能过上好日子。但在暑期的招聘会上,很多这种毕业生发现,他们能得到的薪水比工人的工资还低。

在大萧条初期,一些美国年轻人把就业市场低迷视作当“失业快乐族”的机会,但中国有另外一个词:“啃老”。这个词是指中国年轻人入不敷出,于是要“啃”父母的积蓄。大城市近年的大学毕业生平均起始工资为每月400美元,根本没有希望在就业之初就实现什么经济独立。

武汉大学教育科学学院教授胥青山说:“这种快速扩张不仅在中国,在全世界任何地方都是前所未有的,就业形势不好的根本原因就是这种扩招。”

新增大学毕业生有相当大一部分来自农村,通常是家里第一个脱离种地的人。在学校,他们也许面对着父辈做梦都没想过的大都会世界,而一旦毕业来临,他们找工作的难度远甚于城里同龄人。

根据中国社科院社会学所研究员田丰的调查,城市家庭出身的大学毕业生的失业率约为12%,而农村家庭出身的则为30%。如果考虑到最近城市背景的大学毕业生比农村背景的毕业生薪水高出20%,差距看起来就显得更大了。
田丰说:“大学毕业生就业的城乡差异就是当前社会流动固化的一个具体表现,也是最为突出的表现之一。这极大地影响到了社会公平。”

王俊英(音)出生在四川一个小村庄。王俊英说:“高考前,我爸爸对我说:‘别担心,考不上大学我就给你买台拖拉机。’那时,我唯一的想法就是我无论如何都要上大学。我就是不想开拖拉机。”

王俊英去了西安一所大专学习商务英语,毕业后,母亲提出给她找一个在小学教书的工作。不过这个职位不是白来的:家里要拿出6万多元钱走关系,而这个职位的年薪不过两万多元。

体面的工作岗位的增加数量远远赶不上一茬又一茬毕业的大学生的人数,对于一些稀缺岗位的竞争往往最终成了家庭关系网和财力的比拼。中国几十年来最猛烈的反腐行动已开展近两年时间,但是年轻的求职者们仍然要面对比他们可能得到的薪水高出一大截的敲诈勒索。
王俊英知道家里很难拿出那么一大笔钱,于是她留在了西安,并最终找到了一份工作,每月薪水将近2000元,这与家里帮她联系的小学教师的职位相当,但没有走关系带来的沉重负担。

中国就业市场的这种现状意味着出身富裕城市家庭的年轻人或许可以靠“啃”父母的金钱和人脉取得成功,可是来自农村的年轻人除了一纸文凭外,往往一无所有。


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