China’s urban unemployment rate up

Beijing, Oct 27 (IANS) The registered unemployment rate in China’s cities stood at 4.05 percent at the end of September, slightly up from 4.04 percent in June, official data showed on Tuesday.

China created 10.66 million new jobs for urban residents in the first nine months, Xinhua quoted Li Zhong, spokesperson for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, as saying.

The government wants to create at least 10 million new jobs and hold the unemployment rate below 4.5 percent this year.

“China’s job market was generally stable in the first three quarters,” he said.

There were 109 positions for every 100 job hunters in the third quarter, indicating a generally-balanced job market, Li said, citing a survey conducted by the ministry across 100 cities.

With the economy feeling the weight of downward pressure, there was a decline in job vacancies. In the first nine months, positions at 30,000 monitored companies dropped by nearly five percent.

Li said this was a small loss and mainly affected sectors struggling with overcapacity or environmental problems, including the coal, steel and chemical sectors.

He forecast that the job market will remain steady in the fourth quarter and next year as government measures bear fruit, including numerous cuts to bank’s reserve requirement ratio and interest rates.

The country’s economy expanded 6.9 percent in the third quarter, the slowest pace in six years. The government wants to keep economic growth around seven percent for 2015, Li said.

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