BEIJING, May 16 (TiPost) —— China's urban unemployment rate was 5.2% in April 2023, down 0.1 percentage point from March and the lowest level since 2022, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday.
As China's economy continued to recover, China saw an overall improvement in employment. The employment situation in large cities remained stable in April after a marked improvement in the first quarter, with the survey unemployment rate in 31 large cities remaining unchanged from the previous month at 5.5% in the same month, still higher than the nation-wide surveyed unemployment rate. However, the youth unemployment rate hit a record high of 20.4%.
By age group, the surveyed unemployment rate of the main working-age population, i.e. the labor force aged 25-59, was 4.2%, down 0.1 percentage point from March. The surveyed unemployment rate of youth aged 16-24 climbed to 20.4%, up 0.8 percentage points from March and surpassing the 19.9% rate in July 2022, the highest since statistics became available in 2018.
The youth unemployment rate has stayed at a high level and risen month by month steadily since the start of 2023. It went up from 17.3% in January to 18.1% in February, 19.6% in March and 20.4% in April. Wang Pingping, the Director of the Department of Population, Social and Science Statistics of the National Bureau of Statistics, attributed the high youth unemployment rate to two factors. One was that the 2023-class college graduates began to enter the labor market, and the other one was that the proportion of youth with higher education became larger.
Wang also introduced that there are 96.37 million young urban people according to preliminary calculations in March, with 64.18 million young people not involved in the labor market, most of them being students. 32.19 million young people were willing to get a job in the labor market, of whom 25.87 million people were employed, and 6.32 million were unemployed. Among the unemployed youths, 3.86 million had already graduated and the remaining 2.46 million were mainly 2023 fresh graduates looking for jobs. "In the next stage, the unemployment rate will decrease as highly educated youth gradually have jobs," Wang noted.
There is a phenomenon of higher education, the lower unemployment rate for the main working-age population, namely the 25-59 age group. The surveyed unemployment rate in April was 4.5%, 4.6%, 4%, and 3.1% for the labor force with junior high school education and below, high school education, college education, and bachelor's degree and above, respectively.
The surveyed unemployment rate of the labor force as the non-registered resident was recorded at 5.4% in April, higher than the 5.1% of the local household labor force.
Apart from the unemployment rate indicator, the average weekly working hours of employed workers in enterprises nationwide was 48.8 hours in April, an increase of 0.1 hours from March, the highest number for two consecutive months since statistics were available in 2017. It indicates that enterprises are more inclined to extend the working hours of existing employees than to recruit new employees.