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Unemployment Rate Within 2.5%
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Beijing has vowed to keep its urban unemployment rate within 2.5 percent in 2006, a slight 0.2 percent rise over the previous year.

The pressure on Beijing's job market this year mainly comes from the growing number of new graduates, as most universities and colleges have recruited more students in recent years, an official with the municipal labor and social security bureau explained Tuesday.

Besides, surplus rural laborers from the suburbs of Beijing and across the country, laid-off workers from reshuffled state firms and handicapped citizens who used to live on government allowances are all trying to find a place in the urban job market, said Zhang Xinqing, director of the bureau.

Zhang said the city plans to create 120,000 new jobs this year to employ at least 100,000 unemployed people. "Most new jobs will be created at communities to improve community services," he said.

Meanwhile, the city will help another 40,000 people find jobs by encouraging the unemployed population to start up their own businesses. To that effect the government will provide vocational training and preferential policies to foster these business start-ups, Zhang said.

In 2005, Beijing created 139,000 job opportunities at communities that helped 110,000 unemployed people find jobs, 55,000 of whom were supposed to retire at early ages of 50 or even 40.

The past year saw 295,000 new graduates join Beijing's labor market, and 177,000 unemployed people reemployed, according to latest figures provided by the municipal labor and social security bureau.

(Xinhua News Agency January 4, 2006)

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