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China’s urban jobless rate slightly down in Q3

Updated: Oct 25,2016 2:39 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — The registered unemployment rate in Chinese cities stood at 4.04 percent in the third quarter of the year, slightly down from 4.05 percent in the second quarter, latest data showed.

China created 10.67 million new jobs in the first nine months of 2016, fulfilling the annual target of 10 million ahead of schedule, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security announced on Oct 25.

Ministry spokesperson Li Zhong attributed the job increase and low unemployment rate mainly to the “slow but reasonable economic growth, upgraded industrial structure, the government’s deepened reform and innovation drive, as well as pro-employment policies.”

The government has pledged to keep the whole-year registered unemployment rate below 4.5 percent.

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

Creating more jobs is one of the priorities for the Chinese government to keep employment stable as millions of workers face redundancy due to mergers and reorganization in industries with overcapacity.

The government has carried out several measures and policies to keep employment stable and avoid massive layoffs while cutting overcapacity, said Li, adding that the slowing economy and structural reform pose challenges.

The data also showed that gross revenue of social insurance funds increased 10.1 percent year on year to 3.65 trillion yuan ($539.1 billion) in the first nine months, while gross expenditures totaled 3.17 trillion yuan, up 12.5 percent from a year ago.

China’s social insurance funds include basic pension funds, basic medical insurance, unemployment insurance, work-related injury insurance and maternity insurance.

The authorities are mulling new measures for administering basic pension funds, said the spokesman, adding a first group of pension fund management organizations will be selected within the year to launch investment operations.