China created 12.7 million urban jobs in 2012 - ministry
January 25, 2013 3:28 PM EST
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 (152.79 pounds) 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 (79 pence) 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)
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Kobani ISIS Fighter Sends Out Desperate Message For Prayers And Support: Euphoria Turns Into Desperation As Kurds Advance
- Chris Algieri’s Battered Face Trends On Social Media
- Home Depot Early Black Friday 2014 Sale Up To Nov. 29, 2014 Includes Special Buys On Appliances Such As Samsung Refrigerators, Whirlpool Electric Ranges And Hoover Vacuum Cleaners
- Black Friday Sale 2014 Deals From Amazon On Smartphones, TVs, Headsets And More
- Microsoft Band Runs Out Of Stock, But Offers $10 Gift Voucher To Wait-Listed Customers
- Andrew Robb Asks Obama Not to ‘Lecture’ Australia on Climate Change
- Highest Paid NBA Players 2014: NBA Stars Who Earn More Than LeBron James