Business / Economy

China's job market resilient despite slowdown

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-21 13:50

BEIJING - China added 4.73 million jobs in the first four months of 2014, slightly more than the number created in the same period last year, figures from the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) showed on Wednesday.

"China's job market is growing steadily," said Xin Changxing, vice minister of the MHRSS at a press conference here.

By the end of March, the country's registered urban unemployment rate stood at 4.08 percent.

"The rate was 0.03 percentage point higher than at the end of last year, but it was still considered to be a relatively low level," said Xin.

In the first quarter, China's economic growth dipped to 7.4 percent, the lowest level since the third quarter of 2012.

"China's job market has proved to be resilient despite the slowdown, as the country is trying to achieve growth that can bring jobs and ensure fairly full employment," according to Xin.

He said China's service sector is beginning to account for a larger share of the economy, boosting employment.

The tertiary sector accounted for 46.1 percent of the country's GDP last year, surpassing that of the secondary sector for the first time.

In the January-March period, the growth of the tertiary sector was 0.5 percentage point higher than that of the secondary sector, official figures showed.

Survey indicated that between 2008 and 2012, every one percent of growth in the tertiary sector created 700,000 jobs, as compared to 610,000 jobs in the secondary sector, Xin noted.

The tertiary sector is expected to see accelerated growth as the country's industrialization and urbanization will generate more demand for services such as logistics, marketing, and research and development, the vice minister added.

He said the government's move to streamline administrative procedures also helped the job market, as it encouraged the development of private businesses, a major employer.

The number of newly registered private companies exceeded 290,000 in March, jumping 57.6 percent year on year, according to Xin, who expressed confidence that the government's target of adding 10 million jobs this year can be met.

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