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Experts voice worries on housing and job markets
By Hao Zhou (
Updated: 2008-12-05 20:04

Two renowned Chinese economists have expressed their worries that China's housing market is on the verge of collapse, and that the actual urban unemployment rate may rise to 14 percent next year, compared with the official level of about 4 percent.

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Wu Jinglian, senior economist at the Development Research Center of the State Council, said it would be a challenge for China to keep an 8 percent GDP growth next year, although deflation is unlikely to happen.

At the same time, Wu said China's real estate market would face the danger of collapse next year because of current high housing prices.

Zhou Tianyong, economist of the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, predicts in an article published today in the China Economic Times newspaper that China's actual unemployment rate could rise to as high as 14 percent next year.

Zhou said China's slowing exports may lead to losses of 12 million to 20 million jobs in the country. He estimated that about one third of China's small and medium-sized enterprises may have shut down or temporarily stop production, and that big firms may opt to use more machines as labor costs continue their surge of recent years.

China's registered urban unemployment rate was 4 percent by the end of September. But Zhou said the real level could be 12 percent.

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