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China Posts Record Employment Figures
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China saw a minor miracle, from January to June, during which time it created job posts for 6.29 million new additions to the workforce and 2.79 million laid-off workers, said Ying Shuji, a spokesman with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security on Friday.

Another 740,000 people who had difficulties in finding jobs got employed during that period. By the end of June, the nation had accomplished 70 percent of its employment targets for the year, with an increase of 210,000 more people employed year-on-year.

By the end of June, the nation's registered urban unemployed head count stood at 8.38 million. The nationwide unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent, a 0.1 percent fall over last year.

China's ambitious aims include securing labor contracts for 90 percent by the end of the year. Fulfilling these aims will require stricter management of the contracts and the widespread enforcing of regulations to fully protect workers' rights.

Li added that all enterprises with trade unions would be covered by the umbrella labor contract scheme by 2012, and that help would come to workers laid off by state-owned enterprises to secure reemployment.

The nation will also enforce a greater wage increase rate for workers in the business sector through measures such as prioritizing the minimum wage system, he said, for which special investigations will be carried out to ensure workers nationwide are being paid.

The ministry will further increase controls on all small brick kilns, coal mines and workshops, to prevent repeats of the recent forced labor scandals.

A further urgent matter was the widening of the insurance net to cover industrial injuries and personal medicare, a move seen as benefiting over 30 million rural laborers, he said, as well as creating a pension system for retired rural laborers.

(Xinhua News Agency July 20, 2007)

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