Official data indicates that China’s urban unemployment levels have held steady despite easing economic growth and ongoing efforts by the government to expunge excess industrial capacity.
Figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics indicate that the nation-wide urban unemployment rate as well as the unemployment rate produced by a survey of 31 cities are both under 5%.
NBS spokesperson Liu Aihua said although the rate of economic growth had eased over the past two years, the economic growth volume had continually expanded, with 2016 GDP expanding by approximately 4.6 trillion yuan based on 2015 prices.
According to Liu this volume of growth has increased the economy’s ability to generate employment, under circumstances where labour productivity growth sees only modest changes from year to year.
The Ministry of Housing Resources and Social Welfare had previously released data indicating that the first five months of the year had added 5.99 million new urban jobs to the Chinese market, for an increase of 220,000 compared to the same period last year.
This is equal to 54.4% of the target of 11 million set by China’s government work report at the start of the year.
China’s shifting industry structure is likely abetting increases in employment, in particular the rising prominence of the varied and labour-intensive services sector which is capable of generating a great volume of jobs
The removal of excess industrial capacity as well as the entry of new waves of university graduates into the workforce remain key factors that could cap employment growth.
With these problems in mind the central government established a 100 billion yuan specialist award and allowance fund last year to find work for personnel in overcapacity industries, and has promoted various employment plans directed at university graduates.