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Shanghai's efforts see jobless rate dropping
By Zou Huilin (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-08 22:17

The Shanghai Municipal Labour and Social Security Bureau announced yesterday that the city's registered unemployment rate will be kept under 4.6 per cent for 2004, a direct result of efficient employment work done during the year.

As the figure showed, by the end of November, the number of registered jobless people were 273,000, 28,000 less than last year.

Sheng Zuhuan, director of the Employment Promotion Department at the bureau, pointed out that along with many other governmental agencies, it has been working hard to lower the unemployment rate since January.

"As is known to all, the unemployment rate is closely connected to the stability of a society. We need to reduce the rate, enabling more people to climb out of poverty," Sheng said at a regular news conference yesterday held by the municipal government.

The municipal government has successfully reduced the number of unemployed by launching a succession of projects relocating the middle-aged laid-off workers and offering jobs to young jobless university graduates.

Jiao Yang,Shanghai Municipality's spokeswoman, revealed that by the end of November, the local government had created 640,000 job opportunities for the jobless population.

An analysis by the bureau suggests most of these job opportunities came from the service sector, indicating that a successful transformation of Shanghai's employment structure is taking shape.

Meanwhile, Sheng noted, privately-owned businesses offered the majority of these job opportunities, which are encouraged by the government's preferential treatment and support.

Among the 640,000 opportunities, the local government itself also created 60,000 which are mainly in the public service sector such as garbage collectors, gardeners and river-dredging workers.

The bureau, along with other government agencies, also helped middled-aged laid-off workers and young jobless graduates set up their own businesses.

Tao Yun, an official from bureau, said, "The local government has raised the ceiling on loans without guarantee to the unemployed people from 50,000 yuan (US$6,000) to 70,000 yuan (US$8,400) this year, which facilitates more jobless to start up their own small businesses."

By now, officials have trained 59,000 jobless people, 60 per cent of whom eventually started their own companies.

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