Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 11:43 UK

China jobless pose 'grave' crisis

Graduates attend a packed job fair in China, Nov 08
More than three million graduates in China are seeking work

China's job outlook remains "very grave" and could deteriorate further, a senior official has said.

The government is under "enormous pressure" to create jobs, said Wang Yadong at the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security.

Last month, the Chinese authorities predicted 8% growth for 2009, thanks to a four trillion yuan ($585bn; £390bn) economic stimulus plan.

But the global downturn has still put millions of Chinese out of work.

'Challenging' crisis

Mr Wang said 3% of the country's 66.5 million migrant workers had failed to secure work when they returned to the big cities from their villages after the Chinese New Year.

He added that one-third of last year's university graduates, three million former students, had not yet found employment.

"What's more challenging is that the global financial crisis has not bottomed out yet, and there are still a lot of companies that are in difficulties," said Mr Wang, who is a deputy director at the ministry.

China's economy grew at an annual rate of 7.9% between April and June, up from 6.1% in the first quarter, thanks to the government's big stimulus package.

However, correspondents say unemployment remains a sensitive subject for Beijing and no overall figures are available.

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