China’s unemployment rate
has hit its lowest point in multiple years at 3.95 per cent by the end of September, but employment still face challenges as the economy
pushes ahead with structural reforms, China’s labour ministry said on Sunday.
The ministry of human resources and social security said in a statement that 10.97 million new jobs had been created in China
from January to September this year, a growth of 300,000 compared with the previous year.
The figure represents having essentially fulfilled the ministry’s year-end target, the ministry said in a pre-prepared statement given to reporters.
Despite being ahead of schedule, Yin Weimin, head of the ministry, told reporters that “raising the capacity to employ workers overall still faces large pressures.” “We need to create 15 million jobs per year,” Yin said, singling out China’s more than 8 million new university graduates that enter the job market each year as one group in need of additional employment.
Yin also said the low unemployment rate
in the face of an overall slowdown in the economy
was largely due to the new internet economy
and entrepreneurship, adding that the ministry would actively support start-ups to help them “thrive”.
From 2015 to 2020 every one percent increase in GDP
is expected to equal roughly 1.8 million new jobs, Yin said.
Premier Li Keqiang said in March that China
added 13.14 million new urban jobs in 2016 and aims to add another 11 million this year while keeping the registered unemployment rate
below 4.5 per cent.
The labour ministry’s announcement was made as part of a once-every-five-years congress of the ruling Communist Party, which opened last Wednesday and runs until Tuesday.
At the congress, the Party sets broad policy directions and reshuffles top leaders. As China’s economy
slows, Beijing has made increasing efforts to stave off mass unemployment that may spark social unrest.