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China’s urban unemployment rate falls to 4.04% in June

China’s urban unemployment rate falls to 4.04% in June

BEIJING: China’s job market has remained stable despite prolonged weakness in economic growth, the latest data showed here the other day.

China’s registered unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 4.04 percent at the end of June, edging down from the 4.05 percent seen in March, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) said here the other dayy.

A total of 7.18 million new jobs were created in urban areas in the first half of the year, ministry spokesman Li Zhong said at a press conference.

“Given the statistics and information, our conclusion is that the job market is generally stable,” Li noted.

The data followed the release of the surveyed unemployment rate compiled by the National Bureau of Statistics, which showed the jobless rate in 31 major Chinese cities fell to 5.06 percent in June after rising to 5.19 percent in March.

The rate was first introduced in 2014 to better reflect the job market and serve as a supplement to the MHRSS registered urban unemployment rate after critics questioned the accuracy of the latter for its limited sample.

Creating enough jobs and keeping the job market steady is one of the major priorities for the Chinese government. It aims to create at least 10 million new jobs in 2015 and keep the urban jobless rate below 4.5 percent.

China’s economic growth held steady at 7 percent in the first half of the year, but authorities have underscored continued downward pressure, though some nascent signs of recovery have started to emerge.

A preliminary survey released by Caixin Media Co on Friday showed China’s manufacturing activity retreated to a 15-month low in July, with the index falling to 48.2 from 49.4 in June.

Li said downward pressure on economic growth, together with the country’s ongoing economic restructuring, would create difficulties for the job market.

This year, an estimated 7.5 million college graduates will fight for positions in the toughest job market ever.

“The task of keeping a steady job market remains difficult,” Li said.