10/24/2020, 08.47
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Chinese graduates are not benefiting from the post-Covid recovery

The unemployment rate among university graduates rose by 4% in September.  The country will find itself at the end of the year with 5 million new unemployed in the 20-24 age bracket.  Consumption collapses (-6.6%).  First glimmers of protest.


Beijing (AsiaNews) - Prospects for young graduates looking for work are not improving, despite the country’s economic recovery after the acute phase of the coronavirus emergency.  According to recent data from the National Statistics Office, in September the unemployment rate of recent graduates grew by 4 percentage points on an annual basis;  compared to August it fell by 2.4%.

Young people are among the most penalized in the current situation.  A study by Renmin University, based on data from the online recruiting agency Zhaopin, found that job vacancies for young graduates fell 5% in the third quarter compared to July-September 2019, but the number of  recent graduates looking for work increased by 20%.  Calculating that around 25 million Chinese obtain a university degree each year, and that the unemployment rate of young people between 20 and 24 with a university education is around 20%, this year the country will find itself with 5 million more unemployed in this age group.

In the third quarter of the year, the national economy grew by 4.9% compared to the same period of 2019: between January and March it had collapsed (-6.8%).  Independent analysts often express doubts about the veracity of the figures provided by Beijing.  The positive numbers for gross domestic product contrast in part with those for unemployment, which rose to 5.4% in September from 5.6% in August (in February it had reached 6.2%).  However, the figure does not consider more than 179 million migrant workers, mostly from rural areas.

The increase in GDP is due to the increase in public spending and industrial production, not to increased consumption, which in the first 9 months of the year fell by 6.6%.  Even in a repressive system like the Chinese one, this difficult economic situation is resulting in the first signs of discontent.  A rare protest erupted on October 19 in the capital.  Hundreds of parents took to the streets to ask for the return of the money paid to a large company that provided private lessons to their children: Youwin Education went bankrupt due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

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