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China’s Coldest Labor Market: College Graduates Break 10 million for the First Time

2022 will see 10.76 million college graduates in China, an increase of 1.67 million over last year. This will be the first time in history for the number to break the 10 million mark. This record number, however, is facing a difficult economic situation due to the epidemic.

In 2020, China’s economy was hit hard by the first wave of the epidemic. In the first quarter, China’s GDP fell 6.8 percent year-over-year.  This was not only the lowest since China began publishing quarterly GDP data in 1992. It was also the first time that quarterly growth was negative.

Two years ago, the city of Wuhan was locked down for 76 days. This year. however, Shanghai has been put on a pause for more than 60 days. In terms of economic importance, the two cities are not on the same scale. Shanghai is not only China’s center for manufacturing and foreign trade. It is also the country’s financial hub. The economic devastation brought by the two-month lockdown will be far greater than it was in Wuhan.

Data released by China’s National Bureau of Statistics on May 16 showed that the national urban unemployment rate rose 0.3 percentage points to 6.1 percent in April, a new high since March 2020. Most notably, the unemployment rate for the 16-24 year old population was recorded at 18.2 percent, the highest since that data became available.

Source: BBC Chinese, May 31, 2022