, BEIJING, Oct 25 – More people have successfully applied to take the national civil servant examination in 2013 than did the year before.
As a result, the number of test takers next year is expected to reach a record high after falling for two straight years.
Nearly 1.37 million qualified applicants had registered to take the 2013 exam by the time the application period closed at 6pm on Wednesday, according to Zhonggong Education, a provider of private training for those who want to take the exam.
Li Yongxin, president of the organization, said that figure was calculated by adding up the number of applicants in the official application system.
The State Administration of Civil Service plans to release a final figure after it finishes examining the qualifications of last-minute applicants on Friday.
“The number is expected to surpass 1.6 million,” Li said. “Past experience tells us that the final figure will always be about 20 percent higher than what the number was when the application period closed.”
The exam has attracted some 1.3 million qualified applicants this year. In 2011, the number was 1.41 million and it was 1.46 million in 2010.
Li attributed the increase in applications to a rise in the number of positions applicants can prove themselves qualified to hold.
More than 140 State-level government agencies and their affiliated public institutions and local branches aim to recruit about 20,800 people in 2013, an increase of nearly 3,000 from this year.
“China will see more than 6 million university graduates next year,” Li said. “The economic outlook has not been good since the beginning of this year, and that has made it more difficult for university graduates to find jobs.”
Due to a slowing economy, coastal provinces such as Zhejiang and Guangdong, which are home to many promising private companies, have not been offering job seekers a great number of opportunities. As a result, many graduates are looking to the civil servant exam as an alternative way of finding work, he said.
Li said another reason more people applied to take the exam next year is that more than 70 of the vacancies the applicants might be qualified to fill do not require them to have at least two years of work experience. The exceptions to that rule are certain central departments and provincial branches.
Most of those posts are in city and county governments or below.
“Central authorities tend to look more at candidates’ grassroots work experience … and everybody knows that,” Li said. “So many university graduates would like to work in grassroots civil service posts before they take an opportunity to apply for jobs at higher levels of government.”
The civil service jobs that are most in demand vary from department to department.
The most-sought-after position now is a research post at the National Bureau of Statistics’ Chongqing branch, which had been the target of 9,411 applications by 6 pm on Wednesday.