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Jobs Promised for Unemployed Households
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At least one person in 80 percent of the zero-employment households in China's urban areas will have a job by the end of this year, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) announced on Saturday.

Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Security Zhang Xiaojian told a national conference that the goal must be achieved by creating more job opportunities especially in the public service.

Many of the country's laid-off workers have been reemployed, but some remained jobless either because of old age or a lack of skills, said Zhang.

Governments were exploring ways to create jobs for people who had difficulties finding employment by developing labor-intensive industries and expanding community services.

The MLSS asked local labor and social security departments to provide those on unemployment benefits with vocational training.

In a pilot program, nearly 8,000 communities across the country had achieved a 90-percent reemployment rate of laid-off workers and registered unemployed, according to the MLSS.

MLSS figures show 2.67 million people found jobs in China's urban areas in the first quarter of this year, almost 30 percent of the nine-million target for 2007.

Last year, a record 11.8 million urban residents found new jobs, driven by a 10.7-percent rise in GDP. The registered urban unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent at the end of 2006, down 0.1 percent from 2005.

At least 13 million new jobs must be created annually in urban areas for laid-off workers, university graduates, demobilized servicemen and migrant workers, according to the MLSS.

(Xinhua News Agency June 3, 2007)

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