The CCP Replaced The Five Percent Unemployment Rate Report With A Four Percent Version
On Friday, the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Ministry
of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) said
that the registered unemployment rate will be 4.08 percent
in Chinese cities by the end of 2014 second quarter.
The figure is 1 percent lower than that announced earlier
by the CCP’s National Development and Reform
Strange is that the NDRC quickly deleted reports
about the previously announced number.
Economists comment that the CCP’s official urban
unemployment rate is meaningless as it is always
around 4 percent and never changes no matter
how China’s economy looks.
One day before the MOHRSS announced China’s quarter two
unemployment rate, the Wall Street Journal published
an article saying the CCP’s official unemployment rate
is widely regarded as a meaningless number.
The report says the number almost never changes
under any circumstances.
The number announced by the CCP only counts for those
employees registered at local social welfare center,
and does not take into account the large group
of migrant workers.
Xie Zuoshi, Professor at Zhejiang University of Finance
and Economics: “Our overall unemployment rate is always
around 4 percent these years, no matter how
the economy looks.
Therefore whether the number is real or not,
our people are in doubt of it.
In addition, the number refers to 『registered urban
Migrant workers from the countryside are not
included in that system.
In this sense, our employment rate is defined differently
then the one used in the world.
The index is thus not a comprehensive or accurate indication
of China’s economic situation.”
In 2008, the global financial crisis destroyed 30 million jobs
in China’s manufacturing industry.
However, the official employment rate saw little increase.
However, China’s real employment picture was clearly
shown by the massive home rush of migrant workers.
The Wall Street Journal article commented that China’s
real unemployment rate is a “state secret.”
Beijing’s party leaders look at an independent employment
report every month, which is never made public.
In April, a CCP official spilled the beans when he said
the unemployment rate was 5.17 percent.
A number 1 percent higher than that which was
The CCP premier Li Keqiang also mentioned the figure
in a column published last September.
Li said China’s unemployment rate was five percent
in the first half of 2013.
Last Wednesday, the CCP’s NDRC announced that
by late June the urban unemployment rate among
31 major Chinese cities was 5.05 percent.
This was the first time that the CCP officially announced
urban unemployment statistics.
The NDRC said the rate had dropped
for four consecutive months.
However, the news was later removed from
the NDRC website and was no longer available online.
Xie Zuoshi, professor at Zhejiang University of Finance
and Economics, says a drop in the unemployment rate
in the last four months does not conform
to what the Chinese public sees.
All of Xie’s friends were talking about layoffs
during the period.
Xie Zuoshi: “Now we have economic troubles
and the unemployment rate should rise in such case.
Therefore our people are in doubt of the authenticity
of the number, as it complete deviates from their intuitions.
Yesterday I had dinner together with several
All of them were talking about layoffs.
One of them said if nothing turns around in the next
two months he would have to fire 100 employees.”
Assistant Director of Beijing Unirule Institute of Economics
Duan Shaoyi comments on the NDRC’s taking back
of its unemployment rate report.
Duan says probably a rate of five percent was still
too “dazzling” for the CCP officials.
Duan Shaoyi: “The reason is, the unemployment rate
not only reflects the economic situation, but also relates
to the local official’s political record.
The CCP always has concerns over the effect
of those indicators on social stability.
If the reported unemployment rate is too high,
Chinese civilians will grow more discontent with the CCP.
Therefore they don’t want to publicly reveal
the real figures.”
Cnstock.com, a Chinese stock website, reported that a record
high 7.27 million will graduate from Chinese colleges
This makes 2014 “the most difficult year to find a job.”
The CCP’s MOHRSS spokesman Li Zhong says 970,000 job
applicants successfully signing contracts with employers
during the first half of 2014.
Among those applicants, only 560,000 are college graduates,
which is only seven percent of 7,270,000.
With less than 10 percent of graduates getting jobs,
the employment pressure is unprecedentedly huge.
On July 21, Australian magazine Business Spectator
published an article about China’s unemployment rate
and labor shortage.
The article estimates the unemployment rate in 102 major
Chinese cities according to a nationwide labor survey
as well as statistics from job placement services.
The author finds that, “The unemployment rate,
including rural migrants in major cities in the first quarter
of 2014, is 8.7 percent; excluding them is 6.9 percent.”
“Unemployment rates before the first quarter of 2014
are also close to these numbers, suggesting
the continued high unemployment rate.”
Interview & Edit/QinXue Post-Production/XiaoYan