Roughly 5 million people in China lost their jobs in the first 2 months of 2020
12:10, Thursday, 19 March, 2020
Roughly 5 million people in China lost their jobs amid the outbreak of the new coronavirus in the first two months of this year, according to data published Monday.China’s official, but highly doubted, urban unemployment rate jumped in February to 6.2%, its highest on record, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That’s up from 5.3% in January and 5.2% in December.“It’s pretty meaningful, as over 5 million more workers lost (a) job in the past two months,” Larry Hu, chief China economist at Macquarie, said in an email.As of the end of last year, 442.47 million people were employed in urban areas, government data show, indicating that at least 4.67 million people have since lost their jobs, based on official figures. China’s unemployment data have been highly doubted, even after the country changed its methodology from worker claims to a survey in 2018 in an effort to capture more of the job losses. The urban unemployment rate has hovered near 4% to 5% for the last 20 years.