China reports lower unemployment rate in March on solid economic growth

Wednesday, 2019-04-17 19:27:21
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Job seekers speak with recruiters at Hefei University in Hefei, Anhui province, at a job fair for college graduates. (Photo: Xinhua)
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The Chinese economy showed positive signs in the first quarter, reporting lower unemployment rate and faster income growth, official data showed on April 17.

The surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.2 percent last month, down 0.1 percentage points from the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The surveyed unemployment rate of those aged between 25-59 was 4.8 percent.

The number of rural migrant workers reached 176.51 million, up 1.2 percent year on year, the NBS data showed.

Describing the job market as "stable overall," Mao Shengyong, spokesperson for the NBS, said the country created 3.24 million urban jobs in the first quarter, 29.5 percent of the annual goal.

China has vowed to create more than 11 million new urban jobs in 2019, and ensure an around-5.5 percent surveyed unemployment rate and a registered unemployment rate below 4.5 percent, according to the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

To achieve such targets, the country has made stable employment a priority, with various measures unveiled.

While increasing support for university graduates, veterans, migrant workers and those with employment difficulties, the country is conducting government-subsidized training on vocational skills and advancing vocational education.

The campaign of mass entrepreneurship and innovation will be strengthened, with easier loan policies adopted and more business incubators.

Local authorities of Tianjin, Sichuan and Xinjiang have launched a series of measures to boost employment, such as offering probation subsidies and secured loans for startups and reducing social insurance contribution.

To help stabilize employment, policymakers have made steps to alleviate company burdens, cut taxes and fees and lower the share borne by employers for the basic aged-care insurance of urban workers.

In particular, small and medium-sized businesses were among the top beneficiaries of favorable measures such as loan increase and tax cuts.

The Chinese economy expanded 6.4 percent year on year in Q1, with GDP reaching CNY21.343 trillion, the same as Q4 of 2018.

Mao said most economic indicators, including growth, employment, price and income, pointed to upward momentum amid stability in the first three months.

While the per capita disposable income grew faster than the GDP in Q1, the income gap between urban and rural residents also narrowed, Mao added.