(Yicai Global) July 17 -- In the first half of 2017, the number new jobs created in China's cities and towns has hit a record high for the first time in three years. The national unemployment rate remains below 5 percent. The latest employment data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that China's economy is "steadily going forward," commented an NBS official.
The urban new employment figure has reached 7.35 million in the first half of the year, with a year-on-year increase of 180,000 people getting employed, already meeting 66.8 percent of the annual target, said Xing Zhihong, spokesman for National Bureau of Statistics, at the National Economic Operation Conference held today. Overall urban unemployment rate is now lower, Xing said.
According to a survey by the National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in urban areas has remained below 5 percent in June for the second straight month. 31 major cities surveyed continued to have a four-month unemployment rate of less than 5 percent. At the same time, rural migrant labor force continues to increase. By the end of the second quarter, the rural migrant labor force has increased by 3.64 million, or 2.1 percent.
Xing said China's economy is in an obvious situation of steadily going forward in the first half of this year, showing a good pattern of stable growth, promising employment, stable prices, increased income and optimized structure.
In the first half of this year, China's urban new employment rate recorded growth for the first time since 2014. Yicai Global reporter found a total of 7.37 million people were under employment in the first half of 2014, with a year-on-year increase of 120,000. While in 2015 and 2016, the urban employment dropped consecutively year-on-year, with 7.18 million employed people in 2015 and 7.17 million in 2016.
The employment boom index for the second quarter of 2017, published by the China Employment Research Institute of Renmin University, also showed that the employment situation in the first half of the year showed a steady and good trend. Since entering the second quarter, the employment boom index has risen from 1.91 in the first quarter to 2.26, as companies' demand has increased and the number of job applicants has fallen. The higher the data, the better the employment situation, experts say.