Q1 figures show slight drop in surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas
China's job market remained on a stable track in the first quarter this year, with the surveyed unemployment rate registering a slight fall, according to the latest figures from the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.
The surveyed unemployment rate is calculated based on the number of unemployed people who participated in the employment survey in urban areas, including migrant workers in cities.
The NBS said that the surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas was 5.5 percent on average in the first quarter, falling by 0.1 of a percentage point from the fourth quarter of last year. In March, the surveyed urban unemployment rate was 5.3 percent, dropping by 0.3 of a percentage point from February.
However, people age 16 to 24 saw a higher surveyed unemployment rate of 19.6 percent in the past three months, up from 16.7 percent at the end of last year, while the rate for those age 25 to 59 was 4.3 percent, dropping from 4.8 percent at the end of 2022.
According to the NBS, people with higher educational backgrounds faced a lower possibility of joblessness. For those 25 to 59 years old, the unemployment rate for those who only finished junior and senior high schools was 4.8 percent in the first quarter, while those with a vocational school degree or bachelor's degree saw average unemployment rates of 4 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.
In the past three months, the central government and social organizations have put efforts into promoting employment, especially for young people who may face hardships landing jobs due to fierce competition brought by the growing population of college graduates — projected to reach 11.58 million for this year alone.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security launched a three-month job-hunting services campaign in January with another nine central departments such as the All-China Federation of Trade Unions and China Disabled Persons' Federation.
As of March 31, about 58,000 job fairs have been organized nationwide with 38 million vacancies listed.
Wang Lijing, a 21-year-old from the business school of Beijing Technology and Business University, said that accountancy would be the ideal job for her, while she is also willing to take administrative jobs as the competition is really intense.
"The most important thing for me is to get a job after graduation in June. Maybe I can look for another job opportunity that I really like or is suitable after I gain work experience for two or three years," she said.
Recruitment website Zhaopin said in a recent report that vacancies in consultancy and e-commerce were the most popular among job hunters in the past three months, while the growing demand for vocational skills and language training made education-related vacancies increase by 11.6 percent.
On Friday, the State Council executive meeting presided over by Premier Li Qiang stressed that China will take more supportive measures to stabilize the job market, which is key to keeping the economy operating in a reasonable range. The meeting said that China will continue to encourage companies to create more job opportunities and college graduates to start their own businesses.
It was announced after the meeting that administrative procedures will be streamlined to reduce obstacles hampering young people from landing jobs. Also, soft loans with lower interest will be available to new graduates, and subsidies and assistance will be allocated to the unemployed and those in difficulty finding work.