Updated January 24th, 2024 at 09:12 IST
China adds 12.44 million new urban jobs in 2023
The 2023 goal of creating approximately 12 million urban jobs was met, showcasing resilience in China's labour market.
China's Ministry of Human Resources revealed that the country successfully generated 12.44 million new urban jobs in 2023, meeting its annual target. However, officials stressed on the need for heightened efforts in 2024 to sustain employment levels in the face of ongoing economic uncertainties.
The 2023 goal of creating approximately 12 million urban jobs was met, showcasing resilience in China's labour market. As the annual parliamentary meeting approaches in March, expectations for this year's job creation target will be unveiled.
Yun Donglai, Deputy Director of the ministry's employment promotion department, acknowledged the heightened economic uncertainty in 2024, coupled with weak social expectations. Yun stressed that the pressure on total employment is expected to persist, necessitating additional efforts to stabilise job markets.
To address specific challenges, the ministry plans to focus on priority targets, including bolstering support for youth employment, especially among college graduates, and expanding job opportunities for this demographic.
Despite China's 5.2% economic growth in 2023, meeting government targets, challenges persist, including a prolonged downturn in the property market, subdued consumer and business confidence, and escalating local government debt.
The official data from last week indicated an increase in the nationwide survey-based jobless rate to 5.1% in December, reflecting businesses' caution in hiring amid uncertainties. However, for the full year of 2023, the average nationwide survey-based jobless rate declined to 5.2%, an improvement from 5.6% in 2022.
In a competitive job market, Chinese college graduates faced challenges, leading to a record-high youth jobless figure of 21.3% in June 2023. The National Bureau of Statistics resumed the publication of youth unemployment data in December, revealing a 14.9% survey-based jobless rate for 16-24 year-olds (excluding college students).
As China navigates these employment challenges, the focus remains on targeted strategies to boost job creation, particularly for the youth, amid the evolving economic landscape.
(With Reuters inputs)
Published January 24th, 2024 at 09:12 IST