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Laid-off, Migrant Workers to Receive Gov't Aid

The government is to improve job services for urban laid-off workers and rural migrant workers to keep the unemployment rate down.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Security said it would continue the active employment policy to promote reemployment for laid-off workers and remove urban restrictions for rural migrant workers.

Liu Danhua, deputy director of the ministry's training and employment bureau, said China had established a public employment services mechanism for the jobless.

Liu said the mechanism had enabled the establishment of 3,860 government-funded employment agencies across the country by the end of 2005, with about 27,000 staff.

The ministry also encouraged the opening of private agencies to expand channels for job-seekers, said Liu.

By the end of 2005, about 8,600 private agencies had been set up, playing an important role in improving services for laid-off and migrant workers.

The world's most populous country will continue to be troubled by unemployment, said the Ministry of Labor and Social Security in its 2006-2010 development outline.

The outline says most of the employment pressure stemmed from workers laid off from state or collective businesses, a rising number of college graduates, rural migration and farmers losing out to industrial development and urbanization.

Officials place the population of migrant workers at 150 million, or 11.5 percent of the population, around double that of ten years ago.

The outline says the ministry aims to keep the urban unemployment rate below five percent between 2006 and 2010 despite mounting pressure from the growing labor force.

(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2006)

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