China, normally contrary to releasing unemployment figures, has admitted to having a “labour surplus” of 32 million workers, according to Human Resources and Social Security minister Yin Weimin.
The revelation, said the official news agency Xinhau, came during a press conference in the framework of the annual meeting of the Chinese Congress. Of the 32 million, 8 are in rural areas and the rest of jobless are in urban areas.
Among those in urban areas what is particularly concerning is that of the 24 million, 14 million are college graduates with some kind of tertiary education.
The Chinese does not publish “labour surplus” figures fearing social unrest and only admits that the unemployment rate in Chinese cities (where less than the half the population lives) currently stands at 4.6%.
Last Saturday on enumerating the government’s objectives for the next five years, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao underlined the creation of nine million jobs in Chinese cities during 2011, and 45 million by 2015.
For this purpose China is planning to invest the equivalent of 6.4 billion US dollars and “will give priority to collage graduates”, according to the Beijing government promises.