China's civil service losing allure as bureaucrats' income, power ebb

China's civil service losing allure as bureaucrats' income, power ebb

SHANGHAI - President Xi Jinping's crusade against corruption has shaken bureaucrats to the core by stripping some of the privileges enjoyed by these elites. And they could have even less to look forward to in the future as severe pension cutbacks are now on the table.

Public servant is still synonymous with a steady job and stable income for life in the minds of many Chinese. Naturally, government jobs are still highly prized, but competition for them is less fierce than it once was due to the anti-corruption campaign's apparent impact on public servants' lives.

"The number of applicants has decreased for the second straight year," a Shanghai city government official said.

On Dec. 21, an exam for selecting new city employees for 2015 was held at 52 locations. Nearly 40,000 applicants competed for 4,275 positions. Odds slightly higher than 9-1 make it a competitive screening process, but the number of job seekers was down significantly from the previous year, when roughly 48,000 vied for 4,778 positions.

"The attraction of civil service is diminishing," the official said.

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