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China’s urban unemployment rate down slightly in Q2

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0.2% decrease during the first half

China’s employment landscape remained relatively steady during the first half of 2023, according to recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and reported by China News Service.

The average urban unemployment rate, as determined by surveys, decreased by 0.2% from the previous quarter, settling at 5.3%. The NBS data also indicated that the unemployment rate among individuals aged 25 to 59 remained low at 4.1% in June.

Overall, the urban unemployment rate for June remained unchanged from the previous month, staying at 5.2%. However, the surveyed unemployment rate for young people between the ages of 16 and 24 reached a new high of 21.3%, surpassing May’s rate of 20.8%.

NBS spokesperson Fu Linghui commented, “As China’s economic recovery gains momentum and employment-stabilizing policies take effect, the surveyed urban unemployment rate has exhibited an overall downward trend.”

Linghui cautioned that with more young graduates and individuals entering the job market in August, the youth unemployment data may experience a slight increase. Nevertheless, he predicted that the jobless rate would decrease as the peak graduation season concludes and more young people secure employment. Drawing from past experiences, he noted that the number would gradually decline after August.

Li Changan, a professor at the University of International Business and Economics’ Academy of China Open Economy Studies, attributed the relatively high youth unemployment to seasonal factors, particularly considering the ongoing graduation season. Changan stated, “A temporary rise in the youth unemployment rate, especially during the second quarter, is normal.”

BBC News reported that China’s economy grew by 0.8% in the three months leading up to the end of June. The sluggish pace of growth has led analysts to anticipate new measures from authorities aimed at boosting the economy. Further data indicated that the Chinese economy expanded by 6.3% in the second quarter compared to the same period last year, falling short of analysts’ expectations despite outpacing first-quarter growth.