China´s 2004 unemployment target in line with China´s reality 03-08-2004 14:35

A senior research fellow with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security says the target of keeping the urban registered unemployment rate at 4.7 percent this year, 0.2 percent higher than the 2003 target, is based on the reality of the situation in China's labor market.

The unemployment target was proposed on Saturday by Ma Kai, minister in charge of the State Development and Reform Commission, which is responsible for drafting China's economic and social development blueprint.

Last year, the government announced that it would strive to bring the urban registered unemployment rate under 4.5 percent, and the final rate came out at 4.3 percent by year end.

Mo Rong, a research fellow with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, said with a population of nearly 1.3 billion people, China would have additional 400,000 unemployed people if the jobless rate in urban areas increased by just 0.1 percentage point.

Mo Rong said this year's target of 4.7 percent aims to deal with an expected increase in labor supply.

According to the research fellow, every year approximately 15 million people are looking for jobs in cities as a result of a baby boom and transfer of rural labor to urban areas; the 2.6 million laid-off workers currently at government-sponsored reemployment training centers will soon join the crowds competing for limited job opportunities; and more people may lose their jobs because of industrial restructuring to cope with the new economic and production situation in the wake of China's WTO entry.


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