With a focus on continued economic reforms China’s State Council on Wednesday put forth a plan to ensure development and boost the jobs market.

The Council also supported the supply-side structural reforms which began in earnest in 2014 as China’s economic growth began to retreat from double digits to just around seven per cent.

In a statement, the Council called on the government to meet the objectives of the Third Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee held in early March, but also said Beijing authorities should strengthen mechanisms to prioritize employment.

To that end, the Council said that authorities should focus on the most vulnerable in the jobs market – fresh university graduates and those who were forced out of their jobs because of the current reforms.

Local governments should offer additional training and subsidies to this sector of people, the statement said.

Chinese authorities have struggled in recent years to reshift priorities away from the traditional bastions of the economy – manufacturing, exports and government spending – to focus on domestic consumption and services.

They have introduced corrective measures to reform the economy but this has been challenged by GDP growth, which has fallen from double digits to a range of 6.5 to 7 per cent, the slowest rate in 25 years.

The target growth rate is likely to remain unchanged.

The challenge for the Chinese leadership is how to endorse reforms in key structures, such as state-owned companies, and promote financial and social security under the banner of “seeking progress while maintaining stability”.

There are also concerns about the specter of continuing rising debt weighed against inflated heavy industry.