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Business News/ News / World/  20 million unemployed: China's youth jobless rate reaches new highs, thanks to Covid

Around 20 million Chinese citizens between the ages of 16 and 24 are currently unemployed in cities and towns, according to CNN estimations based on government statistics that show there are 107 million urban youngsters. Unemployment in rural areas is not included in the report.

About one out of five able Chinese are out of jobs due to severe unemployment which can be attributed to Covid. The country faces an economic down-spiral as top companies operating in China lay off their employees. One of the world's largest smartphone makers, Xiaomi, has also been laying off its employees.

A Xiaomi official recently disclosed to CNN that the company had routinely optimised its workforce and streamlined its operations. Less than 10% of the company's employees were impacted by the action, the official noted.

With an increase from 15.3% in March to a record 18.2% in April, China's youth jobless rate has reached new highs this year. The following several months saw it rise even further, hitting 19.9% in July. According to figures from the National Bureau of Statistics, the rate decreased slightly to 18.7% in August but is still among the highest recorded, according to The Hongkong Post, which also reported Xiaomi would eliminate thousands of workers across a number of divisions, including its internet and smartphone business operations, as per state-run media in China.

In the first nine months of 2022, Xiaomi cut its employment by about 1,900 people. The majority of the company's 35,000 full-time employees, who were based in China, were employed by the end of September. Due to the negative consequences of China's zero-Covid limitations, the company's revenues decreased by almost 10% at the same time.

A record-breaking 11.6 million college graduates are anticipated to enter the job market in the coming year, making the situation potentially worse, according to the education ministry in November. Young people in China are currently experiencing the biggest employment crisis in more than 40 years. For the Communist Party, mass unemployment is a significant obstacle.

China's population will start decreasing quickly in the 2030s and will drop by more than 60% to 378 million people by the end of the century, according to forecasts made by the UN. The working-age population is defined as those between the ages of 15 and 64. Population of the working age decreased from 997 million in 2014 to 986 million in 2021.

(With ANI inputs)

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Updated: 26 Dec 2022, 01:59 PM IST
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