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China – Unemployment rate up as industrial output growth slumps (South China Morning Post)

14 March 2019

China’s unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in January and February from 4.9% in December, reports the South China Morning Post, citing figures from the National Bureau of Statistics. The rate in the first two months of the year is the highest since hitting 5.4% in February 2017. The unemployment rise comes as the growth of industrial production fell to its lowest rate in a decade of 5.3% in January, and down from 5.7% growth in December. Liu Peiqian, Asia strategist at NatWest Markets PLC in Singapore, said the worsening jobless rate indicates more easing policies to come as policymakers always put employment at the first place. “The statistics bureau publishes combined data for the first two months of the year in order to iron out seasonal volatility caused by annual shifts in the timing of Chinese New Year,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, senior China economist at Capital Economics, said.

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