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New flexible employment logs rapid expansion in China from pre-pandemic levels

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Digital economy spurs growth in flexible jobs

In recent years, China has witnessed a significant surge in the expansion of flexible employment opportunities, driven by the rapid growth of the digital and platform-based economy. This development comes to light in a recent report jointly published by Jinan University and the online recruitment platform Zhaopin, as reported by Xinhua.

According to the report, during the first quarter of 2023, the proportion of individuals engaged in new flexible employment stood at 19.1% of the total workforce, marking a notable increase from 13.8% recorded during the same period in 2020. Moreover, in the early months of 2023, a substantial 23.2% of job seekers expressed a preference for flexible employment options, a notable rise from the 18.6% observed in the first quarter of 2020.

The report further delves into the nature of these new flexible employment opportunities, categorizing them into eight distinct fields. These fields encompass platform e-commerce, delivery services, life services, knowledge-based roles, platform livestreaming, and ride-sharing drivers. These job opportunities are primarily prevalent in sectors such as transportation, logistics, warehousing, as well as culture, media, entertainment, and sports.

Interestingly, the research reveals that individuals who favor new flexible employment tend to be women, young people, and those with limited work experience. However, it also highlights a nuanced aspect of these positions: while they often offer superior compensation compared to traditional employment, they typically come with lower levels of welfare benefits.

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