BEIJING, April 21 (Xinhua) -- To offset COVID-19's impact on the job market, China has taken measures to ensure employment and promote work resumption, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS).
In the first quarter of 2020, the ministry has helped over 10,000 central and local key enterprises recruit nearly 500,000 people to ensure the orderly production of medical supplies and daily necessities, said Lu Aihong, spokesperson of the MHRSS at a press conference Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the country offered "point-to-point" non-stop transportation for nearly 5.9 million migrant workers to help them return to work, Lu said.
An unemployment insurance program has enabled more than 3 million enterprises to enjoy a total refunding of 38.8 billion yuan (5.48 billion U.S. dollars), benefiting nearly 81 million employees around the country, according to Lu.
To ease the financial pressure on enterprises, a total of 232.9 billion yuan of social insurance premiums were exempted and 28.6 billion yuan was deferred from February to March.
A special online job fair was also organized by the ministry to revive job markets hit by the epidemic.
By last Thursday, more than 13.39 million job posts from 1.34 million companies had been offered to applicants at the special online job fair, which was launched on March 20 and will last until the end of June, said Zhang Ying, another official of the ministry.
In addition, to promote the employment of laborers from impoverished areas amid the battle against poverty and COVID-19, the MHRSS has given priority to work resumption of leading poverty alleviation enterprises, workshops, factories and rural cooperatives, according to Zhang.
Zhang also noted that poor laborers were guided to participate in agricultural production, infrastructure or major projects construction to further increase their income.
As of April 10, over 23 million impoverished migrant workers nationwide had returned to their workplaces, accounting for 86 percent of all migrant workers last year, Zhang said.
From January to March, a total of 2.29 million new urban jobs were created, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.
The surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.9 percent in March, down 0.3 percentage points from the previous month.