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More Men Without Work than Women

There are more men registered as unemployed in the city than women, at least partially because females are willing to take jobs as domestic helpers, while many men refuse to take jobs they find demeaning.

The number of registered unemployed people in the city fell by 18,000 by the end of June from the same period last year to 265,000, the Shanghai Labor and Social Security Bureau announced yesterday.

The average unemployed person has been out of work for nine months, according to the bureau.

Nearly 53 percent, or 140,000 of the jobless people are male. Men outnumber women in every age group except for those under the age of 25, where more women are without a job, the bureau said.

The jobless rate for those under the age of 35 dropped 10 percentage points from last June to 21.5 percent. The number of unemployed people over the age of 46 rose 5 percentage points during the first half of this year.

Despite various employment promotion policies that the government has launched in recent years, middle-aged laid-off workers are still a big problem, according to Sheng Zuhuan, vice director of the bureau's employment division.

He added that unemployment pressure was particularly high for middle-aged males with few professional skills. Unlike the middle-aged females they have fewer opportunities to take on manual labor jobs, and many are unwilling to take jobs that are looked down upon.

Currently, 174,500 locals are included in the government unemployed insurance fund, which entitles them to an allowance of 300 yuan (US$37) to 400 yuan a month, according to the bureau.

(Shanghai Daily July 26, 2005)

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