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Urban Unemployment Rate Down to 4%

Urban unemployment declined to 4 percent in China by the end of 2007 amid increased government efforts to improve people's livelihood, the labor ministry said Monday.

Yin Chengji, spokesman with the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, said that last year a total of 12.04 million Chinese found jobs in urban areas, a six-year high, representing a 34-percent increase from the government's full-year target.

About 5.15 million of them had previously been laid-off workers and unemployed residents, said Yin, adding China had helped 99.9 percent of the "zero-employment" families find at least one job.

Urban unemployment in China was 4.1 percent by the end of 2006.

China would keep its urban unemployment under 4.5 percent this year by employing another 10 million people, he said.

By the end of last year, a total of 201.1 million people, or 15 percent of China's population, were covered by endowment insurance and 220.5 million covered by medical insurance, he said.

The number of migrant workers covered by work injury insurance reached 39.7 million, up 14.3 million from a year earlier, while 31.3 million had medical insurance, up 14.3 million.

China currently has 200 million migrant workers in cities and towns.

(Xinhua News Agency January 22, 2008)

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