China's employment has remained largely stable in the first half of 2023, with the average surveyed urban unemployment rate dropping down 0.2 percentage points from the first quarter to 5.3 percent, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday.
The jobless rate for people aged 25 to 59 years old has stayed low, at 4.1 percent in June.
The figure for June remained flat month-on-month at 5.2 percent. Meanwhile, the surveyed unemployment rate for young people aged between 16 and 24 in June stood at 21.3 percent, recording a new high.
In May, the jobless rate of the young people of 16-24 ages was 20.8 percent.
The surveyed urban unemployment rate has been showing an overall downward trend as China's economic recovery has gained pace and policies aimed at stabilizing employment started taking effect, Fu Linghui, spokesperson of NBS, said on Monday.
Fu warned that there will be more young graduates and young people entering the labor market in August, and the youth jobless data could edge up.
But Fu shows the confidence that the jobless rate will go down as the summer graduation peak passes, and more young people find jobs. The number will gradually decline after August, as seen from past experiences, he said.
In terms of the relatively high youth unemployment, the seasonal factor has affected the reading, taking into account the current graduation season, 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 Wednesday.
It is indeed normal for the youth unemployment rate to rise for the short term especially in the second quarter, Li said.
A total of 11.58 million new college graduates are expected to enter work force in 2023, 820,000 more than 2022, hitting a record high, official data from the Ministry of Education showed.
China has taken a multi-pronged approach to stabilize employment, ramping up support for fresh graduates and enlarge rural labor force.
In order to encourage companies to hire young jobseekers, China has rolled out a subsidy policy for the enterprises that hire young people who graduated from universities within the last two years, as well as the youth aged between 16 and 24 who have filed for unemployment.
Experts attributed the overall stable employment to China's continuous economic recovery which meets market expectations, as the GDP in the first half of the year recorded a 5.5 percent growth year-on-year.
Economic development is the biggest driver for boosting domestic employment and the surveyed urban employment rate will continue to drop, reflecting the nation's unceasing economic progress, Li said.
Amid China's economic recovery, the nation's job demand has been increasing in the second quarter of 2023, according to a report sent to the Global Times by online recruitment service provider zhaopin.com on Monday.
The report noted that accelerating industrial restructuring and technological advances have led to faster development of biomedicine, new energy and other services sectors, which may create more jobs for the young people in the second half of the year.