China's surveyed urban unemployment rate falls to 5.2% in April: NBS
Published: May 16, 2023 02:03 PM Updated: May 16, 2023 01:55 PM
College students attend a job fair at Beijing Union University on April 28, 2023.Photo: VCG

College students attend a job fair at Beijing Union University on April 28, 2023.Photo: VCG

China's job market continued to show improvement in April as the nation's economy is rebounding, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed on Tuesday.

The surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in April, down 0.1 percentage point from the previous month, maintaining a downward trend for two consecutive months.

Fu Linghui, a spokesperson for the NBS, said that the gradual improvement of the economy, especially the rapid recovery of the services sector, was having a positive impact on the job market.

In particular, the surveyed unemployment rate for people aged 25-59 years old came down to 4.2 percent in April, lower than pre-pandemic levels in 2019, Fu said.

"Moving forward, the labor market is expected to continue to improve with the implementation of the policy to stabilize employment," Fu noted.

More proactive efforts are needed to stabilize and expand employment for young people as the unemployment rate among the age group of 16-24 years continues to rise. 

The surveyed unemployment rates for that age group stood at 20.4 percent in April, up from 19.6 percent in March.

Rising youth unemployment was caused by a number of factors including seasonal factors, a larger number of graduates, and change of employment preferences among young people, Li Changan, a professor at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies of the University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Li noted that the youth unemployment rate in the second quarter is traditionally higher as it coincides with the college student graduation season. It will take time for the job market to absorb a record number of college graduates this year, which is expected to reach 11.58 million this year, 820,000 more than 2022.

As the graduation season approaches, the Ministry of Education recently launched a 100-day job-seeking campaign for college graduates.

Colleges and universities around the country should target those who have yet to find a job , expand market positions, better match the employment needs of graduates and enterprises, according to the Ministry of Education.

China is also planning to provide at least one million public sector youth internship positions for those remaining jobless after graduation.

"Policy remains supportive, and the effectiveness of policy measures will be seen after a period of time. It is expected that the youth unemployment rate will drop significantly in the fourth quarter," Li said.