The Unemployment Rate Among Young Workers in China Suspended by Statistical Office

The Unemployment Rate Among Young Workers in China Suspended by Statistical Office

According to Reuters, the Chinese statistical office has suspended the publication of the unemployment rate among young workers. Officials state that they need to develop a new methodology for calculating the data. In recent months, the number of young people without jobs has reached a record level. This decision comes after weaker-than-expected data on retail sales was released.

The spokesperson for the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Fu Linghui, argued that the situation for most young workers is „generally stable.” He added that the employment rate for graduates is „slightly higher than the same period last year.”

Young Chinese individuals are facing an extremely unfavorable job market situation. In June, the unemployment rate for 16- to 24-year-olds in urban areas reached a record level of over 20%. Official data released on Tuesday showed that the overall unemployment rate in China rose to 5.3% in July. Regulatory restrictions implemented in recent years have significantly impacted employers in key sectors such as real estate, technology, and education.

According to the latest NBS data, the youth unemployment rate rose to a record level of 21.3% in June. Approximately 47% of graduates were unable to find employment within six months of completing their studies in 2022, compared to 43% in 2018, according to a survey commissioned by private companies and cited by the state-owned broadcaster, China News Service, last week.

The decision by the NBS has been mocked by Chinese social media users. Some users criticized it as a way of ignoring the problem, while others called it a form of „burying your head in the sand.” In an article for the financial magazine Caixin, one Chinese professor stated that the true youth unemployment rate in the country may have surpassed 50% in March. However, most Chinese were not able to read the article as it was later censored.

Source: Reuters, China News Service

Paweł Banaś