Youth unemployment and poverty in China are soaring

youth unemployment

Youth unemployment and poverty is affecting about a fifth of China’s youngest workers.

It’s a problem that concerns everyone – from China’s president, to social media commentators and song writers.

A new song – Tang Ping (Lying Flat) – takes a jibe at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for downplaying the high rate of youth unemployment and the  hopelessness that goes with it

It also urges young people to be less picky about their jobs, Radio Free Asia (RFA) reports.

Lost expectations

The song’s lyrics note that many young people are rejecting society’s expectations.

These include Gen Z Chinese youth who are rejecting traditional milestones like marriage, children and finding a job, the reports say.

A Chinese social media influencer who has relocated to Taiwan, says the Chinese government’s promise of obtaining a job after studying hard and graduating was “an unachievable dream.”

“One very important reason for the prevalence of Lying Flat culture is that no matter how hard you work, you can’t live a good life” he told RFA.

An associate professor at the Taipei University of Maritime Technology says the Chinese Communist Party doesn’t have an effective economic policy to stimulate growth and employment.

“Young people can’t see a future and they can’t see any hope,” he says.

This is despite China’s President Xi Jinping urging Chinese youth to “shoulder important responsibilities in the new era,” promoting the government’s “positive” propaganda.

Touching reality

Many social media users call China’s current social reality a “political depression.”

The situation in China is worsening year by year,  a Chinese social media user says.

“…It’s harder and harder to make money, and prices just get higher and higher.

“People living at the bottom [of the economic ladder] are finding it harder every day.”

Unemployment statistics

Last April China’s National Bureau of Statistics’ data showed the youth unemployment rate was at 20.4 percent among people aged 16 to 24, RFA reports.

However an associate professor at Peking University says the true youth unemployment figures could be as high as 46.5 percent. That would also take into account “young people currently not looking for work” and living with their parents.

Last year the World Bank said that over the past four decades China has lifted 800 million people out of poverty.

It estimates 13 percent of China’s over 1.41 billion people still live in poverty.


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