BEIJING, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- China's employment situation is likely to be generally stable this year as the economy continues to recover, but challenges and uncertainties would persist, the country's human resources minister said Friday.
Entrants in the new urban labor force are estimated to be around 15 million this year, while the number of college graduates is expected to hit a record 9.09 million, Zhang Jinan, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security, told a press conference.
According to Zhang, the country's overall employment still has structural problems. While job hunters are struggling to get employed, some sectors, such as manufacturing and services, are witnessing a labor shortage, the minister said.
Meanwhile, the COVID-19 pandemic raging globally has further added uncertainties and challenges to the employment situation this year, Zhang noted.
In 2020, China's surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 5.6 percent, below the government's annual target of around 6 percent, official data showed.
A total of 11.86 million new urban jobs were created in 2020, completing 131.8 percent of the target set for the whole year.
To ensure employment, Zhang said this year China will continue to stabilize the job market by protecting market entities and offering special assistance to key groups of job-seekers including college graduates and migrant workers.
Efforts will also be made to expand employment channels by supporting small firms and entrepreneurship, providing vocational training and offering aid to the vulnerable and low-income groups, he added.