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China employment slow to return despite end of zero-COVID

Smaller cities, young workers benefit little from end to restrictions

People attend a job fair in Beijing. Young workers, especially those with college degrees, are facing a hard time finding jobs in China.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Unemployment in China is on the rise despite the government having ended its strict zero-COVID restrictions in December, as the economic boost from the shift fails to reach the country's smaller cities.

New data from China's statistics bureau shows that urban unemployment stood at 5.6% for the first two months of 2023, a slight rise of 0.2 point from a year earlier.

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