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China's job market improves in March as COVID-19 epidemic wanes

Updated: Apr 17,2020 14:02    Xinhua

BEIJING — China's job market improved last month as life and work gradually resumed in the virus-hit economy, official data showed on April 17.

The surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.9 percent in March, down 0.3 percentage points from the previous month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

A total of 2.29 million new urban jobs were created in the first quarter of 2020, the NBS said.

The surveyed unemployment rate among the people aged between 25 and 59, the majority of the labor market, stood at 5.4 percent in March, 0.2 percentage points down from the February level.

Meanwhile, the surveyed urban unemployment rate of 31 major cities was 5.7 percent last month, according to the NBS.

The surveyed urban unemployment rate is calculated based on the number of unemployed people who have participated in the employment survey in urban areas, including migrant workers in cities.

Mao Shengyong, a spokesperson with the NBS, told a press conference that the employment situation has been generally stable, noting that China has avoided massive layoffs despite the shock from the epidemic.

He expected the job market to continue to improve in April but also warned that the downward pressure on the economy would weigh on employment, especially for migrant workers and college graduates.

To maintain the stable trend, China will spare no effort in helping enterprises pull through, meanwhile supporting key labor groups such as providing professional training for migrant workers or assisting them in starting their own businesses, said Mao.