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Youth Unemployment Crisis Emerges in China Amid Economic Downturn

The National Bureau of Statistics of the Communist Party of China recently released a series of economic data, notably excluding statistics on the youth unemployment rate, a deliberate omission attributed to the desire to maintain stability and avoid risks from domestic public opinion. Widespread youth unemployment is evident in major Chinese cities, with reports of young workers struggling to secure employment, resorting to sleeping on the streets, and facing eviction by landlords due to an inability to pay rent on time.

The challenging situation is increasingly common in cities like Shenzhen, Guangdong, and Kunshan, Jiangsu, where a significant number of young individuals, including breadwinners in families, grapple with unemployment amid an economic decline. A recent online video circulating on social media sheds light on the dire conditions faced by many, emphasizing the urgent need for employment opportunities.

China’s youth unemployment rate, previously announced at 21.3% in July, has raised concerns, with some researchers pointing out a staggering 46.5% youth unemployment rate in March. The economic downturn is affecting not only job seekers but also pushing wages lower as thousands compete for a limited number of jobs.

In response to the growing unemployment crisis, Chinese Communist Party officials have decided not to publish youth unemployment data from August onwards, aiming to maintain a positive image both domestically and internationally. The government’s approach to the issue includes evicting people sleeping near key locations, such as the Long Hua bus station in Shenzhen, with authorities focusing on cleanup and eviction rather than providing support for those facing homelessness.

The dire situation has led many individuals to seek refuge in sewers or abandoned buildings in the suburbs, highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive solutions. Experts warn that the lack of development opportunities for young people, coupled with lower living standards than previous generations, could potentially trigger social unrest in China.

Local governments, burdened by heavy debt, face challenges in managing fiscal revenue, with some regions experiencing negative growth. The ban on issuing overseas bonds, coupled with strict regulation of short-term financing avenues, contributes to the financial pressure faced by local governments. The economic challenges have led to a surge in bankruptcies, layoffs, and unpaid wages for civil servants across various industries in China.

As the economic storm continues, Chinese citizens find themselves struggling and helpless, while the Chinese Communist Party focuses on self-preservation and projects an image of a powerful China. The economic recession poses significant challenges, and finding lasting solutions to address local government debt and unemployment remains a critical task for the authorities.

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