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China reports lower unemployment rate(29/10/04)

Some 7.74 million urban residents got jobs during the first nine months, representing 86 percent of the national yearly employment goal of 9 million, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security announced on Thursday.

According to the ministry, the registered urban unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent at the end of the third quarter, 0.1 percentage point lower than the same period in 2003.

"China had a total of 8.21 million jobless people in its urban areas at the end of September, 210,000 more than that in the previous year," said spokesman Hu Xiaoyi at a press briefing.

The ministry said China created jobs for 3.85 million laid-off workers from January to September, part of the national goal of getting 5 million re-employed in 2004.

"The number of workers laid off from China's state-owned enterprise (SOE) totaled 1.76 million from January to September, 840,000 fewer than last year," said Hu.

Hu attributed the results to the improvement of public employment service systems and the further adoption of small loans on credit.

To date, a total of 1.06 million laid-off workers have signed agreements with government-sponsored re-employment training centers, which provide the workers with subsidies to maintain their minimum living standards and cover social insurance.


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