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China’s job growth slows down for first time since 2009 crisis

The employment growth in China’s urban areas slowed in the first quarter of 2015 for the first time since the global financial crisis, the government said on Friday. From January to March, China’s employed urban population grew by 3.24 million, which is 200,000 less than the same period last year, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) spokesperson Li Zhong said without providing specific reasons for the drop.

Qiu Dongyang, professor at Chongqing University of Technology, attributed the slowdown to the slower economic expansion seen in the first quarter. First quarter’s growth slowed to 7 per cent from the previous quarter’s 7.3 per cent. It was the weakest performance since the global financial crisis, when growth fell to 6.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.

China’s manufacturing industry, which used to be labour-intensive, is promoting mechanisation and reducing employee recruitment, putting pressure on urban employment growth in the short term, said Qiu. 

Industrial output growth slowed to 6.4 per cent year-on-year in the January-March period from 8.7 
per cent growth a year ago. The “Internet Plus” action plan unveiled by Premier Li Keqiang during the parliamentary sessions in March is considered a new engine for future sustainable growth. 
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