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  Beijing offers incentive for hiring laid-off workers

BEIJING, Nov 23 (Reuters) - The Beijing city government has offered a subsidy to firms willing to give a job to laid-off workers, Chinese media said on Sunday, in the latest instance of local governments trying to combat rising risks of unemployment.

Companies willing to employ the unemployed could get up to 10,000 yuan a year per worker for the next three to five years, according to a report by the China News Service, citing the capital's labour bureau.

Faced with the prospect of declining orders for the export sector, China's central government has announced a 4 trillion yuan stimulus package which has been matched by 10 trillion yuan in projects announced by several provinces.

Local governments, which must fight to preserve jobs or run the risk of potentially destabilizing unemployed workers, have announced a series of ad hoc policies.

Hubei Province, in central China, earlier this month ordered state-owned companies to reduce salaries before cutting staff, the Xinhua news agency reported on Nov. 18. Large and medium-sized state-owned companies would need to seek government approval for lay-offs involving at least 50 people, it said.

In southern China, workers at some shuttered factories have had their unpaid back wages guaranteed by local governments, often in direct response to protests.

The export hub of Dongguan, in Southern China, in October set up a 1 billion yuan rescue fund for small and medium-sized businesses hurt by the global crisis.

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