China reports lowest urban unemployment rate in recent years

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-28 16:52:26|Editor: Mengjie
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BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- The registered unemployment rate in Chinese cities stood at 3.95 percent at the end of the second quarter, the lowest level in recent years, official data showed.

The figure was slightly down from 3.97 percent in the first quarter, and was lower than 4.05 percent in the same period last year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) announced Friday.p China created 7.35 million jobs in the first half of the year, 180,000 more than that in the same period last year, according to the MHRSS.

The registered unemployment rate is calculated based on the number of unemployed people who register with human resource authorities or employment service institutions.

"China's job market has remained stable and has become a ballast stone for economic development and social stability," said Lu Aihong, a senior official of the MHRSS, at a press briefing.

Lu said that the steady labor market "came off the back of a stabilizing macroeconomy."

The Chinese economy continued steady expansion in the first half of this year with GDP up 6.9 percent year on year to about 38.15 trillion yuan (5.6 trillion U.S. dollars), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

To ensure stable employment, China has rolled out an array of pro-employment policies for graduates, redundant workers, the disabled and migrant workers, while the country's entrepreneurial wave has helped fuel job creation, Lu said.

In the past five years, China has seen more than 13 million new jobs created for urban residents each year, with the country's registered urban unemployment rate lower than 4.1 percent, according to Lu.

Additionally, China's employment structure continued to improve with the ratio of employment in the service sector rising from 36.1 percent in 2012 to 43.5 percent in 2016.

But Lu admitted that a huge workforce, a supply-demand gap for skilled workers, and laid-off workers will continue to put pressure on the job market.

To face the challenges, China will strive to ensure re-employment of workers made redundant during the country's excess capacity cuts, help college graduates seek jobs, improve professional skill training, and support people in setting up their own businesses.