Nation in 'grave' employment situation | Shanghai Daily

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Nation in 'grave' employment situation

CHINA faces a "grave" employment situation, but government measures to boost payrolls are taking "initial effect," Yin Weimin, minister of Human Resources and Social Security, said yesterday.

The country has experienced a big drop in employment overall, a large number of migrant workers have lost their jobs, and labor-intensive industries are a major victim of the global financial downturn, he told a news conference on the sidelines of the national legislature's annual session.

But in the first two months of this year, China experienced a slight reversal of the downward trend, thanks to government efforts to boost payrolls, Yin said.

The number of new workers stood at 690,000 in January and 930,000 in February, compared with 550,000 and 380,000 in November and December last year. China recorded the first rise in company posts in February after the figure dropped for four consecutive months, he said.

"It's only a moderate increase of 1 percent, but it's good news," he said.

"But can we then judge from the two pieces of good news that our employment situation is turning for the good? I think we should keep observing the overall economic development (to make a judgement)," he said.

Yin also said that 11 million migrant workers were still unemployed after the Spring Festival, while the registered unemployment ratio in urban areas has reached 4.2 percent, the highest in the past three years.

The global financial crisis mainly affected labor-intensive enterprises and export processing plants, whose employees were primarily migrant workers, Yin said.

About 40 percent of the firms in 15 major cities have cut jobs by an average 5 percent, which means the whole country lost 3 million jobs. In addition, China gains 24 million new laborers in urban areas every year but can handle only 12 million of them.

China has pledged to implement an even more aggressive employment policy this year and allocate 42 billion yuan (US$6.14 billion) to offset unemployment.




 

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