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9.7 Mln New Jobs for Urbanites in 2005
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China provided jobs for 9.7 million urban residents in 2005, compared with 9.8 million in 2004, and helped 5.1 million laid-offs, among which 1.3 million aged 40 to 50, get re-employed, according to a spokesman with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security Thursday.

During the 2001-2005 period, more than 180 million workers laidoff from state-owned enterprises found new jobs, said spokesman Hu Xiaoyi at a press conference.

In 2005, he said, the number of unemployed people stood at 8.39 million, with a registered unemployment rate of 4.2 percent, the same with the previous year.

"This is the third consecutive year China has fully accomplished its goal for employment and re-employment," said Hu, adding that at the end of 2005, China's employed population reached 760 million, 40 million more than at the end of 2000.

In 2005, nearly 700 billion yuan (US$87.5 billion) was pooled as funds for pension, unemployment, medical treatment, work injury and maternity insurance, with 540 billion yuan paid to beneficiaries, the spokesman said.

As for the goal for 2006, he said, China will work to find new jobs for 9 million urban residents and help 5 million of workers laid off from state-owned enterprises get re-employed.

"The registered unemployment rate for urban residents will be controlled below 4.6 percent in 2006," he said.

From 2001 to 2005, enterprise retirees received 1.5876 trillion yuan (US$198.45 billion) in basic pension, a rise of 803.2 billion yuan (US$100.4 billion), or 103 percent, from the previous five years.

At the end of 2005, China's endowment insurance service covered 174.44 million, up 38.26 million, or 28 percent, from at the end of 2000.

(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2006)

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