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Capping the urban unemployment rate at just 4 percent in China: Premier Li

China’s economy must continue growing by at least 7.2
percent per year in order to sustain the unemployment rate from rising, said
Premier Li Keqiang in remarks published on Monday.

In a national workers’ meeting two weeks ago, Li told the
attendees that the government was hoping to cap the urban unemployment rate at
4 percent, requiring GDP growth to maintain at a medium-to-high speed in order
to so.
“We want to stabilise economic growth because we need to
guarantee employment, essentially,” Li said, calculating that every percentage
point in economic growth would create between 1.3-1.5 million jobs.
Li reiterated that the 7.5 percent growth target for 2013
remained intact, but noted that weak exports sales were a risk.
“If the exports drop sharply, it would bring employment
problem,” Li said. Exports can directly create about 30 million jobs and
add another 100 million jobs in other related industries, he added.
Nevertheless, the country’s leaders are still embarking on a
new set of economic reforms to shift China’s reliance on exports to a
domestic-led economy.
Li has already said that government was unlikely to use any
short-term stimulus to boost economic growth, focusing on fiscal and budgetary
reforms instead.
With this in mind, he said that China must find a
“golden balancing point” between upgrading the economy and maintaining
a reasonable growth rate to ensure further job creation.
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