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HomeNewsChina stops publishing youth unemployment data amid slump – DW – 08/15/2023

China stops publishing youth unemployment data amid slump – DW – 08/15/2023

China’s official statistics agency said on Tuesday that it had stopped publishing key unemployment figures that had previously shown the number of jobless youths in the country had reached a record high.

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that starting from this month —July — it would no longer be releasing age-group-specific breakdowns of unemployment data as it reconsiders how it measures data.

In June, the rate of unemployment for urban workers aged 16 to 24 reached a record 21.3%.

China’s economic figures in detail

Overall unemployment in July was at 5.3%, up 0.1 percentage points from June.

“The employment situation is generally stable,” Fu Linghui, NBS spokesperson, said.

However, other key economic indicators add up to paint a less than positive picture for the world’s second-largest economy.

Consumer spending grew by 2.5% over the same period last year. While growth does mean spending increased, this increase was less than in June when it reached 3.1%.

Factory output also decreased from 4.4% in July to 3.7% in June, marking a general slowdown.

The decision to no longer publish youth unemployment figures amid the downward trend was met with criticism on Chinese social media.

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Chinese growth targets in question

Economic growth figures have also not been promising for China. The data for the three-month period ending in June was down to 0.8% from the 2.2% recorded in the previous period.

The equivalent annual growth rate would be 3.2% — one of China’s weakest rates in decades.

Reduced demand from western economies that have been battling inflation and recession fears have had a knock-on effect in China where exports plunged by 14.5% in July.

The vast Chinese real estate sector has also hit a slump amid tighter government controls on how much debt developers can take on.

The Chinese Communist Party had set an annual growth rate of “about 5%,” but there would need to be a large bounceback in the second half of the year for this target to be met.

ab/rt (AP, AFP)

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