The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on employment in China may last for two years, with “high-touch” service industries, manufacturing and small and midsized companies particularly affected, experts say, reported Caixin.
China’s employment situation was weak last year and has worsened further due to Covid-19, Ding Shouhai, professor at Renmin University of China’s School of Applied Economics, said at an online forum Tuesday.
“In the coming one or two years, if there are no other significant incidents we need to factor in, the (official surveyed urban) unemployment rate is likely to fluctuate around 6%,” Ding said. The government expects the official surveyed urban unemployment rate, a main gauge of employment in China, to be around 6% this year, up from around 5.5% in 2019, according to this year’s government work report.
“China is facing great employment pressure in 2020 and it may be not easy to fill the holes in employment,” Ding said. The country’s economic growth would need to stay at about 4.5% to meet all the existing employment needs, which is rather difficult given the current economic situation, according to Ding. The International Monetary Fund has forecast China’s GDP would grow by 1%this year, down from a previous projection of 1.2%. “Even though the epidemic could be contained within a year, the pressure on employment might stay for two years,” Ding said.
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