According to the latest data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate for the young remained high in August.
The youth surveyed jobless rate for the month dropped slightly to 18.7%, down from 19.9% in July.
The Youth jobless rate often tops during graduation season. This summer, the number of China’s college graduates is expected to reach 10.76 million, exceeding 10 million for the first time, 1.67 million more than in 2021.
Despite a modest improvement in the youth unemployment rate this month, the record-high figure of nearly 20% poses a concern for the top Chinese leadership ahead of the National Congress in October.
According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), last week, the State Council, China’s cabinet, said it would make efforts to boost job creation for China’s job seekers. Measures include urging banks to extend special loans for internet firms and offering subsidies for college students who have not found a job within two years of graduation.
However, according to Bloomberg, experts said structural changes in the Chinese economy mean the youth jobless rate will remain high.
Bloomberg cited Morgan Stanley analysts writing in a report last week that “No amount of manufacturing and infrastructure stimulus would be effective in relieving” the young unemployment problem.
Liu Shenglong, an associate professor at the School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, told the SCMP that youth unemployment is a complex issue for policymakers.
Liu pointed out that such factors as college graduation season, students returning from overseas, and workers who lost their jobs all contribute to job market difficulties.
He said, “If all these factors add up, I think the situation will only worsen if the economy does not recover quickly.”