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China sets goal for urban unemployment

By Chen Xin  (China Daily)

10:48, December 18, 2011

BEIJING - China aims to keep the unemployment rate among registered city dwellers under 5 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to a statement released on Friday after an executive meeting of the State Council.

During those years, the government aims to create jobs for 45 million people in cities and 40 million unemployed laborers in the countryside.

"Employment pressures will continue to increase in the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) period," said the statement, citing decisions made at the meeting, which was presided over by Premier Wen Jiabao.

To meet the government's goal for unemployment rate among registered city dwellers, about 10 million jobs will have to be created each year for such people. That is about a million more a year than was created annually from 2006 to 2010, according to the statement.

At the end of the third quarter of this year, Chinese cities had a registered unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, which was unchanged from the previous quarter.

The government will place a priority on employing college graduates and unemployed laborers in the countryside. It will also improve the system it uses to provide occupational training.

Zhang Yi, an expert with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' institute of population and labor economics, said the policies have told both laborers and enterprises that the central government is placing a priority on job maintenance and creation.

China is faced with many obstacles in its fight against unemployment. About 6.8 million Chinese students graduate from colleges every year and the countryside is home to about 100 million laborers without jobs.

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