China created 12.7 million urban jobs in 2012

BEIJING Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05am IST

Women attend an interview during the job fair for China Eastern Airlines flight attendants in Shanghai October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

Women attend an interview during the job fair for China Eastern Airlines flight attendants in Shanghai October 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Aly Song/Files

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - China created 12.7 million new jobs in urban areas in 2012, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, said on Friday.

The increase from 2011's 12.2 million new urban jobs left China's urban jobless rate steady at 4.1 percent at the end of 2012 - the 10th straight quarter officials say it has been at that level.

The urban jobless rate is China's only official unemployment indicator, but analysts say it grossly underestimates the true level of unemployment because it excludes about 250 million migrant workers from its surveys.

The National Bureau of Statistics said last week that China had created 11.9 million jobs in 2012 in urban areas. The differing numbers highlight the discrepancies in China's employment data which feed analysts' doubts.

Economists at Nomura in Hong Kong said other data signalled that China's labour market had tightened in the fourth quarter of 2012, with an index of the ratio of urban labour demand to supply rising to 1.08 from 1.05 in Q3 - its highest since the index was first published in 2002.

A group of about 20 migrant workers from Dalian in China's northeastern Liaoning province were demonstrating outside the labour ministry on Friday as the jobless data was presented at a news conference, demanding the ministry help them collect unpaid wages after completing work on a construction project.

China's migrant workers are the backbone of the country's labour force, working mainly in low paid jobs on construction sites and in factories.

Beijing has mandated that minimum wages rise at least 13 percent a year during the course of the current five-year plan that runs to 2015.

The same plan mandates annual increases in urban and rural household incomes of more than 7 percent, which would result in them doubling over 10 years.

The labour ministry said on Friday that 25 of China's 32 provinces raised minimum wages at an average of 20.2 percent in 2012.

In 2011, 24 provinces increased minimum wages by an average of 22 percent. In 2010, 30 provinces delivered increases of an average of 22.8 percent.

The most recent data available shows minimum wages in 2011 ranged from 1,500 yuan per month in Shenzhen, the highest, to 870 yuan in Chongqing, the lowest.

The disparity of incomes has become a politically sensitive issue in China over the last decade as the gap between rich and poor has widened into a chasm.

About 13 percent of China's 1.3 billion people still live on less than $1.25 per day according to the United Nations Development Programme and average urban disposable income is just 21,810 yuan a year.

Meanwhile China has 2.7 million U.S. dollar millionaires and 251 billionaires, according to the Hurun Report.

(Reporting by Aileen Wang and Nick Edwards; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

WTO Trade Deal

WTO Trade Deal

WTO clinches first global trade deal in its history  Full Article 

Kashmir Attack

Kashmir Attack

Ten dead in Kashmir's worst militant attack in more than a year  Read 

OPEC Meeting

OPEC Meeting

Saudis block OPEC output cut, oil price sinks further.  Full Article 

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP, RBI Preview

GDP growth set to weaken, business wants reforms more than rate cut  Full Article | Related Story 

Social Media

Social Media

Twitter to start tracking users' mobile apps  Full Article 

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley to Rajan

Jaitley likely to meet Rajan on Monday to urge rate cut  Full Article 

Banking Sector

Banking Sector

India moves to allow more businesses to offer basic financial services.  Full Article 

Forever21 in India

Forever21 in India

Forever21 sets sights on Indian cities, but please hold the hot pants  Full Article 

Japan Economy

Japan Economy

Japan inflation slows in October, output and spending show signs of recovery  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage