China's job market improves in Q1 amid steady economic recovery-Xinhua

China's job market improves in Q1 amid steady economic recovery

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-04-25 09:36:16

This photo taken on March 18, 2023 shows a view of a job fair in Harbin, northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.  (Xinhua/Wang Jianwei)

BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China's job market witnessed stable improvement in the first quarter (Q1) this year as labor demand grew stronger amid a robust economic recovery.

The surveyed urban unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in March, down from 5.6 percent in February and also lower than 5.8 percent a year ago, and the number of new jobs created in the first three months stood at 2.97 million, up by 120,000 year on year, data from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security showed.

The employment situation gradually improved and largely remained stable thanks to a smooth shift in COVID-19 response and effective policies to stabilize the economy, Chen Yongjia, an official of the ministry, told a press conference on Monday.

China aims to add 12 million jobs in cities this year and keep its jobless rate at around 5.5 percent. Chen expressed optimism in delivering the annual targets, citing favorable conditions from an upward economy to the government's employment-first policies.

The Chinese economy got off to a good start in 2023 as the gross domestic product grew 4.5 percent year on year in the first quarter, picking up pace from 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 3 percent for the entire 2022.

Encouraged by the economic rebound, Chinese enterprises became more confident in increasing investment and production, which led to an uptick in labor demand.

The country's manufacturing activity maintained expansion for three consecutive months by March, according to the latest purchasing managers' index published by the National Bureau of Statistics. Market confidence improved remarkably, with optimism shared by all surveyed industries.

With the positive trend, China has stepped up efforts to further stabilize employment.

A State Council meeting earlier this month announced more assistance to college graduates, migrant workers, unemployed people, and those having difficulties in finding a job.

The meeting also pledged to take pragmatic measures to stabilize employment in manufacturing and foreign trade enterprises and improve the quality of vocational education and skills training in a market-oriented way.

The new measures showed the government's great concern for people's livelihood and strong determination to prop up economic growth, said Li Chang'an, a researcher with the University of International Business and Economics.

While the manufacturing sector will continue to serve as a major employer and trade companies will be prompted to offer more high-quality jobs, the intensified professional training will create more skillful workers and help tackle structural problems in the job market, Li said. 


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