Further confirmation of deteriorating economic conditions in China come via its latest employment release. Note that China’s unemployment rate is its “urban” rate, which does not include migrant workers, so real unemployment is certain to be higher. In addition, the level officially projected for 2009 would put it at a 30 year high. That means it is possible that the actual level could exceed the official forecast.
From Bloomberg (hat tip reader Michael):
China’s official urban unemployment rate jumped for the first time since 2003 and may climb to an almost 30-year high…Registered unemployment rose to 4.2 percent as of Dec. 31, Yin Chengji, spokesman for the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security…It was 4 percent three months earlier.
A rate as high as the government’s 4.6 percent target for this year, which was announced by Yin today, would be the worst since 1980, official data show….
A separate survey of urban unemployment by the labor ministry, which covers the entire workforce, has been 1 percentage point higher than the registered rate since 2005, Yin said.