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China vows to create 9m new jobs in '12

Updated: 2012-03-05 09:29


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BEIJING -- China aims to create more than 9 million new jobs in towns and cities this year as part of the government's efforts in bettering people's well-being, Premier Wen Jiabao told the parliament's annual session Monday.

"Employment is of great importance to China's development and the people's well-being," Wen said at the Fifth Session of the 11th National People's Congress which opened Monday morning, nothing that the government would make every effort to increase employment.

"We will continue to face great employment pressure this year, and governments at all levels must continue to follow the strategy of giving top priority to employment and more actively implement employment policies," Wen said in his government work report.

According to the report, China will give high priority to supporting new service industries, innovative high-tech enterprises, and small and micro businesses that employ large numbers of people so as to create more jobs.

"We will encourage the creation of new business to stimulate employment," Wen said.

According to the report, a total of 12.21 million new urban jobs were created in 2011, and China will keep this year's registered urban unemployment rate at or below 4.6 percent.

Wen said that putting people first is about realizing, upholding and promoting their fundamental interests.

"We will make ensuring and improving their well-being an important task in the work of the government," Wen said.

China will take a slew of other measures so as to achieve this goal, Wen said in his government work report.

He added the country is further improving its social security system by extending the old-age pension program to cover all residents by the end of this year.

China plans to complete 5 million units of low-income housing this year and start construction of another 7 million units to better people's living conditions, Wen said.

China will also implement and improve policies and measures to discourage speculative or investment-driven housing demand, and further regulate the real estate market by reforming the real estate tax system.

Moreover, China will raise subsidies for medical insurance for non-working urban residents and the new type of rural cooperative medical care system to 240 yuan ($38) per person per year, from the current 200 yuan, Wen said in his report.

In the meantime, China will extend the medical insurance to cover more diseases such as uraemia and lung cancer to provide aid for their treatment, according to the report.