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Urban unemployment in China hits lowest level since 2002

Updated: Feb 26,2018 4:03 PM

The unemployment rate in China’s urban areas reached 3.9 percent at the end of 2017, the lowest level since 2002, the latest government data show.

More than 13.5 million urban residents entered the workforce last year, higher than the target set by the authorities, You Jun, vice-minister of human resources and social security, said on Feb 26.

More than 15 million people are expected to look for a job in urban areas this year, including 8.2 million university graduates, according to Zhang Yizhen, who is also vice-minister.

“It’ll be more difficult for graduates with certain majors and elderly people who lack certain skills to find work,” she said.

Zhang said the labor supply is forecast to remain high, as the number of people aged 16 to 59 — working age in China — stood at more than 900 million last year and will stay about 800 million until at least 2035.

To cope with a dwindling labor force caused by an aging population, the government will improve job training in urban and rural areas so that workers can better contribute to economic development, she added.