China’s Youth Unemployment Rate Is Back, and Better

After suspending the public release of youth unemployment rates last year, China started distributing the information again on Wednesday, using different measurement criteria that lowered the figure significantly.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics stopped announcing the jobless rate among 16- to 24-year-olds after the figure climbed for six consecutive months to 21.3 percent in June, a record high. The government said when it suspended the numbers for July that the collection of the information needed to be “further improved and optimized.”

The growing number of unemployed young people had become an inconvenient data point that seemed to rebut Beijing’s assertion that the country’s economy was recovering after the lifting of pandemic restrictions.

The government agency said the revamped jobless figures now exclude students in school. After adjusting its calculation methods, the bureau said jobless rates among 16- to 24-year-olds stood at 14.9 percent in December.

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