Last year a total of 11.84 million urban Chinese found employment. This exceeds the nine million target for the whole year, Tian Chengping, Minister of Labor and Social Security, said on Thursday.
This is the first time China has seen the number of newly employed urban people exceeding 10 million annually, Tian said at a national meeting on labor and social security in Beijing.
"The employment situation in China has improved a lot in recent years which will contribute a lot to the overall economic and social development," said Wang Yadong, deputy head of the training and employment department of the ministry.
In 2006 about 5.05 million unemployed found new jobs. This is one percent higher than the original target. The registered unemployment rate in urban areas was 4.1 percent, indicating a slight decline.
Last year also saw an increasing number of people purchase insurance, Tian said. By the end of the year 186 million people had bought endowment insurance, 157 million medicare, 111 million had unemployment insurance -- a new high over the past five years -- 102 million had insurance for industrial injuries and 64.46 million bought birth related insurance.
The number of people buying endowment, medicare, industrial injury and birth related insurance were more than 10 million up in each category from the previous year, Tian said.
According to official figures 25.38 million migrant workers bought industrial injury insurance by the end of 2006. This is 12.86 million more than at the end of the previous year. Another 23.67 million migrant workers bought medicare which is up by 18.78 million year-on-year.
(Xinhua News Agency January 19, 2007)