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China's unemployment rate drops to 5.2% in 2023

Xinhua | January 17, 2024


The surveyed urban unemployment rate on average in China stood at 5.2 percent in 2023, down 0.4 percentage points from 2022, official data showed Wednesday.

The employment situation is generally stable, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a report.

The surveyed urban unemployment rate in the country came in at 5.1 percent in December 2023, the NBS said, adding that the figure for 31 major Chinese cities stood at 5 percent for the whole year.

The total number of rural migrant workers grew by 1.91 million from a year earlier to 297.53 million in 2023, with their average monthly income up 3.6 percent year on year to 4,780 yuan (about 672 U.S. dollars).

The surveyed unemployment rates of the 16-24, 25-29 and 30-59 age groups, excluding students, were 14.9 percent, 6.1 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

Kang Yi, head of the NBS, told a press conference that the bureau has excluded students when surveying unemployment in the 16-24 age group and newly created the 25-29 age group excluding students to reflect the unemployment situation among young people "more accurately and completely."

He added that students accounted for more than 60 percent of urban residents aged between 16 and 24 last year.

The unemployment data for the newly added 25-29 age group can indicate the employment climate for youngsters in years after graduation, Kang said.

The NBS will release the unemployment rates for the 16-24, 25-29 and 30-59 age groups of the workforce excluding students on a monthly basis.

China's central authorities have always attached great importance to people's employment and considered the work of stabilizing employment at a strategic height, Kang said.

All regions of the country and government departments have prioritized the task of boosting employment and have moved to optimize pro-employment policies, he said.

Last year, China's surveyed urban unemployment rate on average was 5.4 percent, 5.2 percent, 5.2 percent and 5 percent on a quarterly basis, presenting an obvious trajectory of improvement, Kang noted.

The number of newly created urban jobs between January and November 2023 rose to 11.8 million, up some 350,000 year on year, according to the official.

Although there is pressure on the job market in 2024, the employment climate is expected to remain stable as favorable conditions are building up, Kang stressed.

The booming Chinese economy and the upgraded industrial structure will make room for job creation, and people exiting the job market will outnumber those entering the market, and pro-employment measures will continue to kick in, he said.