China’s Decision to Halt Youth Jobless Data Raises Concerns about the Economy’s Slowdown

China’s decision to stop releasing youth unemployment figures is causing alarm and raising concerns about the country’s economic slowdown. This move comes at a time when China’s jobless rate for 16 to 24 year olds in urban areas hit a record high of over 20% in June. The suspension of publishing youth unemployment figures has immediately sparked discussion on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with many questioning the government’s intentions and highlighting the need for accurate statistics.

The decision to halt the release of youth jobless data is attributed to changes in China’s economy and society, according to a government spokesman. The country’s central bank also recently cut borrowing costs in an attempt to stimulate growth. However, official figures show that China’s overall unemployment rate has risen to 5.3% in July, further illustrating the challenges faced by the economy.

The National Bureau of Statistics spokesman, Fu Linghui, stated that the method of calculating youth unemployment needs to be reconsidered due to the constantly evolving economy and society. He hinted that the growth in the number of students between 16 and 24 years old has affected the unemployment figures. It is worth noting that China does not count those in education as unemployed.

The decision to suspend publishing youth unemployment figures is concerning for multiple reasons. Firstly, it raises doubts about the accuracy and transparency of China’s official statistics. With the government withholding this crucial data, it becomes challenging to assess the true state of the job market and evaluate the effectiveness of policy measures.

Furthermore, the suspension of youth jobless data comes at a time when China’s post-pandemic economic recovery is slowing. The country recently reported a sharp fall in exports and slipped into deflation, where prices are falling. Experts warn that without adequate policy support, there is a real risk of the economy entering a recession.

Another significant concern for China’s economy is its crisis-hit property market. China’s largest private real estate developer, Country Garden, recently warned of potential losses of up to $7.6 billion for the first half of the year. The introduction of new rules to control borrowing by major developers in 2020 has rocked the real estate industry. Evergrande, a Chinese property giant, also defaulted on its debts and reported a massive total loss of $81.1 billion for the last two years.

The decision to halt the release of youth unemployment figures reflects broader worries about the state of China’s economy. Accurate and timely data is crucial for policymakers, investors, and the general public to make informed decisions. Without transparency and reliable statistics, it becomes challenging to understand the true extent of the economic challenges and take appropriate actions.

The suspension of youth jobless data also raises questions about the government’s response to mounting economic pressures. It suggests a potential reluctance to acknowledge and address the severity of the slowdown, which could have long-lasting implications for China’s economy and society.

In conclusion, China’s decision to stop releasing youth unemployment figures has significant implications for the country’s economy. The suspension of this data raises concerns about the accuracy of official statistics, makes it difficult to assess the job market’s true state, and hampers the effectiveness of policy measures. Combined with China’s post-pandemic economic slowdown and crisis-hit property market, there is a pressing need for transparency and reliable data to understand the challenges and formulate appropriate responses.