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Li pledges to keep Chinese unemployment at low level

By SU ZHOU | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-15 12:20

The Chinese government will not allow massive unemployment, Premier Li Keqiang said on Wednesday.

"A close look at the Government Work Report will show that we have set higher targets in 2017 for all major areas of economic and social development, which includes creating 11 million urban jobs, one million more than in 2016," he told reporters after the close of this year's National People's Congress session.

"Employment is of paramount significance for such a large country as China, which has more than 1.3 billion people. Employment is the foundation of economic development."

For the past four years, Li said China has been creating 13 million urban jobs a year, which has helped the country keep unemployment at a fairly low level.

However, he said China still faces significant pressure to provide jobs for the 7.95 million university graduates who will enter the labor market this year as well as 5 million secondary school graduates and workers laid-off as part of efforts to cut overcapacity.

"For the government, the job is to create a good environment and the necessary conditions for people ... to generate opportunities for themselves, rather than relying on the government to hand them a job," he said.

He added that a system will be set up to help those who have difficulties finding a job or covering their basic needs.

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