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Unemployment rate in China soaring: 1 in 5 Chinese graduates are jobless

Beijing: The unemployment rate among China's youth is soaring, while millions more are about to graduate. According to the Chinese Ministry of Education, 11.6 million college students are expected to graduate in June, an increase of 820,000 over 2022, reported The Straits Times.
The government reported last week that 20.4 per cent of people aged 16 to 24 looking for a job were out of work in April. Notably, nearly 12 million Chinese expected to enter the job pool in June at a difficult time. One in five Chinese graduates are jobless, the highest level since China started announcing such statistics in 2018, reported The Straits Times.
Shu Xiang, 21, started looking for a job in February and still has had no luck. A financial-management major at a college in Chengdu, Shu said she had received five responses to about 100 applications. Graduation is in a few weeks.
"I'm not so confident about finding a job," she said.
High youth unemployment has been a dark stain on China's economy for several years, exacerbated by strict Covid-19 pandemic health restrictions that limited travel, decimated small businesses and damaged consumer confidence.
Even after announcing in December that it would start easing the policies of zero-Covid rules, the youth jobless rate has remained high, as the overall rate has ticked down two months in a row, reported The Straits Times.
Overall, the Chinese economy is steadying itself more slowly and unevenly than many believed it would.
Analysts said one problem is a mismatch between the jobs college graduates want and the available jobs.
In March, listings for jobs in tourism and in passenger and cargo transportation grew the fastest, according to Zhilian, a Chinese job search site. Another sector with many available jobs in retail.
Industries such as construction, transportation and warehousing, which typically draw heavy interest from China's vast population of migrant workers, have also picked up, reported The Straits Times.
Dr Nie Riming, a researcher at the Shanghai Institute of Finance and Law, a research organisation, said young people with degrees in higher education were seeking jobs in technology, education and medicine.
"But these industries are exactly the ones that have been growing slowly in China in the past several years," Dr Nie said. "Many industries not only did not grow but also suffered devastating blows."
Moreover, China has cracked down on its once-vibrant education and tech industries in the past several years.
Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs. The tightened supervision has prompted concerns about further government intervention in the private sector, which in turn has led companies to reduce hiring, reported The Straits Times.
While the industries that attract educated young people are shrinking, the number of college graduates has been increasing. (ANI)

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