After listening to accounts of some enterprises' operational difficulties, Wen said they should be prepared for a relatively long period of grim foreign trade, and labor-intensive companies should speed up industrial upgrading.
At a meeting discussing the local employment situation, Song Li from Zhejiang's provincial employment center said the persistent drop in local employment is a structural problem, as no one is willing to undertake low-end jobs which are usually hard work.
The eastern economic hub of Zhejiang saw 573,500 new jobs in the first seven months, a rise of just 1.92 percent from last year, according to Song.
Despite an average 15-percent rise in annual wages, not many people are interested in blue-collar jobs, entrepreneurs reported.
Wen replied that the government should pay high attention and give top priority to job creation in the face of the economic downturn.
He urged efforts to strengthen employment guidance, render special support to labor-intensive and small companies, promote employment of college graduates and provide services to migrant workers who return to their hometown for employment.
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