How High is Urban Unemployment in China?
Rapid economic growth and radical structural transformation pose a challenge to official statisticians as they seek to encompass new economic activities and phenomena. The accuracy of official statistics is liable to come into question. Urban unemployment in China is a good example. This paper estimates the urban unemployment rate using administrative statistics, population census data and a recent sample survey data set, and provides a critique showing in some detail how and why Chinese unemployment statistics are a minefield for the unwary and unemployment is so difficult to measure. Nevertheless, it is found that the urban unemployment rate rose rapidly over the 1990s and exceeded 11% in 1999 and 2000. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the findings for understanding unemployment, for policy, and for the collection of statistics.
Volume (Year): 4 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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