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Jobless Rate to Below 5 Percent

While encouraging the development of high-tech industries in the next five years, China is also going to provide more support to labor-intensive service industries, including private businesses, in an effort to keep the unemployment rate below 5 percent, top labor official Zhang Zuoji said in Beijing.

Zhang, minister of labor and social security, outlined China's labor policy for the 10th Five-Year Plan period at a press conference held by the ongoing session of the National People's Congress.

In the next five years, the minister said, China's total labor supply is estimated at 52 million, but the country's industries can only offer about 40 million jobs, he said.

Over the past five years, the number of farm workers has for the first time been reduced to below 50 percent of the total population, and employment in the service industry has been increasing faster than that in the manufacturing industry, the minister noted.

The size of the workforce in state-owned enterprises has dropped dramatically, while that in the private and other non- state sectors has skyrocketed, he said.

The minister put the 2000 unemployment rate at 3.1 percent.

(People’s Daily 03/11/2001)


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