Li Keqiang: China’s employment situation is “complex and serious”
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang – the No. 2 in the ruling Chinese Communist Party’s hierarchy – described the employment situation as “complex and serious”.
In a statement on Saturday, he called on all levels of government to prioritize measures to boost employment and maintain stability. These measures include helping small businesses survive, supporting the internet economy, providing incentives to encourage people to start their own businesses and paying unemployment benefits. to dismissed workers.
“Employment stabilization is essential for people’s livelihoods and is the main support for the economy to operate within a reasonable range,” Li said.
His remarks come at a time when the unemployment rate in the country has soared to the highest rate in nearly two years, according to government data.
Every year, China must create millions of new jobs to keep the pace of the economy going. The government has set a target of creating at least 11 million jobs in cities and towns by 2022. But Li said in March he hoped the economy could generate more than 13 million jobs. this year, citing the need to accommodate university graduates and rural migrant workers.
As the highly transmissible variant of Omicron spreads rapidly in China, the country grapples with its worst outbreak in more than two years. So far, at least 27 Chinese cities are under full or partial lockdown, which could affect up to 185 million people across the country, according to CNN’s latest calculations.
More than two years into the pandemic, President Ji Xinping is stepping up his tough zero Covid policy even as the rest of the world tries to learn to live with the virus. This involves mandatory mass testing and strict lockdowns.
The shutdowns have brought the world’s second-largest economy “close to breaking point”, according to a recent report by analysts at Societe Generale.
Other industries, ranging from real estate to education, have also seen steep job losses in recent months.
On April 28, the Communist Party’s Politburo pledged to roll out “significant measures” to support the internet economy and hinted at an easing of a year-long crackdown on the tech sector.