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China Banks Hire Tens of Thousands in Latest Rescue Mission

  • China’s record 8.7 million graduates face toughest job market
  • Beijing has enlisted nation’s mega banks to aid in recovery
A job seeker talks with a human resource official at a job fair in Zhengzhou, July 2020.
A job seeker talks with a human resource official at a job fair in Zhengzhou, July 2020.Photographer: Wang Zhao/AFP via Getty Images
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China’s mega banks are ramping up their recruitment of fresh graduates as a record number enter the labor market, joining other state-owned firms in boosting employment even as lenders deal with plunging earnings and ballooning bad debt.

The four biggest state banks, led by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd., this month kicked off their autumn campus hiring, instead of in November as in previous years. ICBC plans to hire 18,000 graduates this year while China Construction Bank Corp. is adding 16,000, up from 13,000 last year. Bank of China Co. will increase its hiring by 15% to more than 10,000, according to their advertisements. Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. already hired 4,500 people during the spring round.