China's economic stimulus creates 22 million jobs: minister

So far an estimated 22 million jobs have been created in China from the government's 4-trillion-yuan (595.4 billion U.S. dollars) stimulus injected into the economy since the international financial crisis hit.

Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, made the remarks at the the fifth Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Human Resources Development Ministerial Meeting here on Thursday.

The Chinese government views employment growth as extremely important as it helps to maintain and improve people's livelihoods, and contributes to social and economic development, Yin said.

Late 2008 the Chinese government started to introduce a range of stimulus measures to expand domestic demand and boost economic growth. The two-year program involves a total investment of 4 trillion yuan.

According to the minister, a key focus of the Chinese government is to create and preserve jobs with the goal of reaching full employment.

China has helped hard-hit enterprises to retain jobs by allowing them to defer social insurance payments. The government has also reduced rates of social insurance contributions and provided a social insurance subsidy for those businesses.

The move covered 1.6 million hard-hit enterprises in 2009, retaining 60 million jobs, said Yin.

However, the minister said "China is facing a new challenge as the labor market develops. In particular, youth employment pressure increases as urban job seekers enter the labor market for the first time and rural young workers look for non-agricultural jobs in the cities."

Human resources officials from 21 APEC members are present at the meeting, which is designed to provide a platform for all participating members to explore ways to address the challenges of the international financial crisis and to realize inclusive growth.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 16Sep10]

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