Thousands of people applying to take the annual national civil service exam are choosing the cushiest of the 20,000 jobs on offer while 330 positions have had no takers, which experts say confirms the long-held notion that working for the central government is supposed to be low stress and high status.
The State Administration of Civil Service Sunday showed the most and least popular positions that had been chosen during the 10-day-long application period which will end on October 24.
The hottest position was with the Chongqing survey team under the National Bureau of Statistics. The single position on offer had attracted 1,868 applicants. Some 126 agencies had over 200 people apply for a single vacancy.
"The priorities of applicants are work conditions and location. Positions in big cities that require fewer qualifications are always popular," Li Guobin, chief researcher at the Zhonggong Education Group, an education company specializing in training people for the national civil service exam, told the Global Times.
In 2011, the most sought after job was with the State Ethnic Affairs Commission, which required only bachelor degree and little or no work experience.
"The unpopular positions require hard work, which goes against many people's idea of what it means to work for a government department," said Li.
The departments with the fewest applicants are the meteorology agencies and the customs offices. They require specialized higher degrees, frequent business travel and work outdoors.
With the era of self-sacrifice in order to serve the people seemingly in deep decline, Li expects the trend of applicants applying for the cushy jobs is here to stay, especially when the positions are accompanied by so much social status.
A survey by the People's Tribune showed that 65.8 percent of respondents thought that personal value could be best realized as an official, and 68 percent said their first choice would be to work for the government.
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