Tough task to find work for jobless

By Xin Zhiming (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-03-11 07:44

Tough task to find work for jobless

Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, answers questions during a press conference held on the sidelines of the Second Session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing, March 10, 2009. [Xinhua]

China faces a "very tough" task of finding jobs for workers as the global financial crisis bites deeper into the Chinese economy, Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, said yesterday.

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The global financial crisis has had a severe impact on China's economy as many companies have had to down shutters. It resulted in massive layoffs of farmers-turned-workers.

Eleven million of the 55 million farmers, who moved to cities for jobs after Spring Festival, are still unemployed, Yin said.

Besides, 6.11 million fresh graduates - 520,000 more than in 2008 - will enter the job market this year, taking the total number of those looking for jobs to 17.11 million. This will only exacerbate the unemployment rate if new jobs are not created.

Analysts, however, are hopeful that as the economy picks pace and recovers in the second half, the country will achieve its target of creating 9 million jobs this year as announced by Premier Wen Jiabao in his government work report at the opening session of the ongoing 11th National People's Congress. Wen has said the country will try to keep the unemployment rate in urban areas under 4.6 percent this year compared to 4.2 percent in 2008.

"China's economy will not be as strong this year as before," said Li Daokui, economist with Tsinghua University and member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

"But spurred by the central government, the local governments will pay special attention to create jobs this year, making China's goal of creating 9 million new jobs this year attainable," he told China Daily.