BEIJING — Significant shifts are underway in the employment situation of the Chinese workforce, fueled by the country’s rapid development of innovative and high-tech industries.

Latest data from a research unit under Liepin, a job-hunting website, shows that industries including intelligent manufacturing, integrated circuits, artificial intelligence and biomedicine are short on talent.

To be more specific, the Talent Shortage Index (TSI) of the semiconductor industry is 1.91, a new high in the past two years, and the index of biomedicine has reached as high as 4.4.

The TSI reflects the supply and demand of talents. An index above one indicates short supply, while a reading below one means excessive supply.

“Changes in the country’s industrial structure have led to shifts in the employment structure, which is shown by the TSI,” said Xing Zhenkai, deputy head of the research unit under Liepin.

On the one hand, with the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, the demand for digital talents has become more urgent.

From April 2021 to March 2022, demand for digital talents in finance, auto machinery manufacturing, and pharmaceutical and medical industries increased by 44.04 percent, 39.03 percent and 32.96 percent, respectively, according to Xing.

On the other hand, the rapidly-expanding emerging industries such as AI and metaverse create huge demand for highly skilled employees.

For example, the number of job openings in metaverse surged 37.07 percent year on year last year, following a 13.59-percent increase in 2019 and a 14.6-percent rise in 2020.

Founded in 2017, Beijing Huanqing Environment Technology Co., Ltd. focuses on energy conversion of rural waste, resource recovery from agricultural waste and the manufacturing of high-end special agricultural machinery equipment.

“We need talents in agriculture, machinery, intelligent manufacturing, and project management, among others,” said Chen Xin, manager of the environment technology firm.

“The company will provide about 200 jobs for college graduates this year, and some positions remain unfilled so far,” Chen said.

As China moves up the industrial value chain, business needs and job requirements change accordingly, and employees, therefore, have to strengthen their skills to stay competitive in a fast-changing world, analysts said.

China aims to create over 11 million new urban jobs and keep a surveyed urban unemployment rate of no more than 5.5 percent in 2022.

“We should step up efforts to broaden employment channels and provide a high-quality workforce to drive the country’s high-quality economic development,” said Yao Kai, director of a research center under the Fudan University.

Originally published by Xinhua