BEIJING, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's employment market remained stable with the registered urban unemployment rate standing at 3.62 percent at the end of 2019, well below the government's annual target of 4.5 percent, an official said Tuesday.
Lu Aihong, spokesperson of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), said at a press conference that 13.52 million new urban jobs were created last year, much higher than the target of 11 million.
Jobs for graduates from institutions of higher education and migrant workers have been particularly expanded, he said.
Stable growth of the job market can be attributed to policies of prioritizing employment, and China's expanding economic growth and optimized industrial structure that have been creating many new job opportunities and new forms of employment, said MHRSS official Zhang Ying.
Last month the government promised to intensify support to businesses to keep their payrolls stable.
According to an executive meeting of the State Council, the current policies of lowering the premiums of unemployment insurance and workplace injury compensation insurance, partial reimbursement of unemployment insurance contributions for employers who keep their payrolls, and subsidies for in-job vocational training will continue for another year.
With the better-than-expected scale of fee reductions for employers, social insurance premiums were reduced by 425.2 billion yuan (about 61.66 billion U.S. dollars) throughout the year of 2019, MHRSS data showed.
To support labor-intensive enterprises and disadvantaged firms in stabilizing job posts, unemployment insurance totaling 55.17 billion yuan was returned to 1.15 million enterprises, benefiting nearly 72.9 million employees.
Vocational skill training was provided to a wide range of different groups, according to the ministry. In 2019, 16.03 million people receive subsidized vocational skill training, exceeding the target of 15 million.
China is working to lower the share borne by employers for urban workers' basic aged-care insurance to 16 percent, and the government will also lower enterprise contributions to unemployment insurance and work injury compensation insurance in a phased manner.
Zhang said that China's job market in 2020 would remain generally stable. "But pressure on total employment remains, and the structural contradictions in employment are becoming more prominent with increasing new factors."
Efforts will be made to implement the policy of prioritizing employment, and to promote more adequate employment with higher quality, according to the ministry.