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China’s job market remains stable

Updated: Jul 21,2015 7:18 AM     Xinhua

China’s employment situation has remained stable thanks to a growing economy, rising tide of entrepreneurship and robust tertiary sector, according to new data.

The surveyed unemployment rate compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on July 20 that the jobless rate in 31 major Chinese cities fell to 5.06 percent in June after rising to 5.19 percent in March due to holiday distortion.

It was the lowest level in the first half of 2015.

The surveyed unemployment rate was first introduced in 2014 to better reflect the job market and serve as a supplement to the registered urban unemployment rate compiled by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, after critics questioned the accuracy of the latter for its limited sample.

NBS official Feng Nailin mainly attributed the stability of the job market to the growing economy.

China’s economy posted a better-than-expected growth of 7 percent in the second quarter of 2015, unchanged from the first quarter.

As the economy maintains medium-high growth, it can still create jobs even though the year-on-year rate is slowing, Feng said.

More than seven million new jobs were created in urban areas in the Jan.-June period, with a target of 10 million for the year, earlier data showed.

Feng said the country’s promotion of mass entrepreneurship has also helped stabilize employment as more people become self-employed.

The number of newly registered enterprises jumped 19.4 percent from a year ago to 2.1 million in the first half.

The rapid development of the service sector appears to have been another boon, with Feng estimating an increase of 1 percentage point in the sector will create around one million jobs, double the number provided by secondary industry.

Growing 8.4 percent in H1, the services sector has become a main economic driver and accounted for 49.5 percent of GDP in the period.

In addition, Feng pointed out, a falling labor population also made job seeking easier. The population of workers aged between 16 and 59 shrank by 3.71 million year on year in 2014.

However, job hunting by college graduates remained a problem. Despite a noted decline from January, their unemployment rate stood high at 7.74 percent, well above the average.

Feng expects the ratio to rebound in the autumn based on a new wave of graduates hitting the market.

He noted unemployment in areas plagued by industrial overcapacity remained high. Cities in northeast China, an old industrial base, registered a jobless rate of around 7 percent, while some resource-oriented northern cities also saw a relatively high rate.

But the official also predicted that these problems will gradually be solved as the country is speeding up economic restructuring.

The NBS plans to expand its survey to the country’s more than 330 prefecture-level cities and make it more accurate by technical upgrades.

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