Date
19 October 2017
A job fair in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern China's Hebei province. Despite the economic slowdown, the unemployment rate declined for the fourth month in June. Photo: Xinhua
A job fair in Shijiazhuang, capital of northern China's Hebei province. Despite the economic slowdown, the unemployment rate declined for the fourth month in June. Photo: Xinhua

China unveils surveyed unemployment rate for first time

The survey-based unemployment rate in 31 major Chinese cities was 5.05 percent at the end of June, National Business Daily reported Monday, citing a statement published by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last week.

This is the first time China has published the data based on survey rather than the registered unemployment rate. Surveyed data is generally considered more accurate than registered data and is widely adopted globally. China has been testing the survey measures for the unemployment rate since 2010.

However, the NDRC statement is no longer available on its website.

The latest reading represented a decline for the fourth consecutive month. Su Hainan, deputy head of the China Association for Labour Studies, said 5.05 percent is a “pretty good” data for China as 5 percent to 5.5 percent is within the normal range for countries with market economy.

“The ongoing economic restructuring has shown good results, as the slowdown in economic growth didn’t lead to a higher unemployment rate,” Su told the newspaper.

Every percentage point of gross domestic product growth was deemed to have created a million jobs in previous years, but is now believed to be equivalent to 1.5 million jobs because of the fast-growing service industries, the report said.

The registered unemployment rate in China has been around 4 percent since 2002, partly because those who lost their jobs had to update their employment status with local welfare authorities in order to be counted among the jobless.

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