The Institute of Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences recently released an analysis of China’s unemployment trend based on its May survey data.

According to the report, the pandemic has caused a greater impact on start-ups, and individual industrial and commercial households who have poured into big cities. This has sunk employment capacity sequentially.

In addition, the numbers reflect the fact that COVID-19 outbreaks have clustered around critical centers of the country, including the financial hub Shanghai and the capital Beijing. 

Accordingly, only 1.23 million people in China were really employed as of May. It is an unchanged figure in March and April, and worse than the same period in 2021. 

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate in 31 large cities and towns only increased to 6.9%. 

Several residents’ videos recently have exposed how the Chinese are struggling to find a job. 

Desperately searching for a job, unable to return to hometown

In the video recorded by a netizen, we can easily see residents sleeping on the streets, and under staircases, carrying luggage from small to big bags. 

The video owner commented, “If you have a job this year, you are the luckiest person!”

In another video, homeless residents shelter under bridges. They sleep on rollaway beds or in makeshift tents under limited-living conditions, without water or electricity. 

These are citizens who have lost their jobs and cannot return to their hometowns. All they expect is to find a position in order to survive.

Desperate times

A resident in Dongguan, Botou, Humen, has posted a video sharing his harrowing experience in searching for a job. 

He couldn’t find a job as many factories had closed down or were no longer hiring staff. Consequently, the man can’t afford to rent a house and spends a lot of money searching. His nephew also goes out, looking for any available vacancies. 

The man added that even if he could find a job in a factory. The salary he could earn is relatively low, and the unit salary has dropped from the previous two months. 

What’s the price of failing medical examinations?

In a video, a resident shares that he was kicked out of the dormitory after failing a medical examination. 

He has no place to shelter as internet coffee shops are all under closure amid the epidemic. With only $5 left, the man has no choice but to sleep on the streets at night with a blanket from his bag.

The homeless man is desperately looking for a position as a driver. He shared that he struggles every day to search for nucleic-acid testing points because a valid testing result within 24 hours is a must to apply for any positions. 

Daily walking for a long distance, up to 12 miles per day, all he hopes is to be able to feed himself. What currently matters to this man with ten years work experience is daily meals to survive, not salary. 

He laments, “Really hard! Find a place to sleep! Find a place to work!”

‘Lying like dead men on streets,’ familiar scenes on China’s streets

A video shows a man just wearing pants, lying limp on a porch like a dead man. A passerby, the video’s owner, realized his state and offered him some food. 

However, the passerby also could not determine whether the inert man was alive or dead as he didn’t reply to the passerby’s question.

He said that he has come across many cases like this. Many people are struggling to find a job to earn their living as it’s quite hard to find a job lately. 

He then guesses that the prone man has searched for a job but failed. He might have run out of money, ending up lying down exhausted on the street to sleep. 

‘Forget about finding a job this time!’ says job seeker

In one video, a job seeker is searching for a factory with available positions.

After a day-long search, the man concludes that it’s not a suitable time to look for a job. Instead, he advises others to pack up their luggage and get ready to leave. 

He added that while several people are crowding into the employment center, applying for jobs, the roads are almost deserted, with no one around. Therefore, he supposes it’s impossible to search for a job now. 

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