BEIJING, Jan 23 (CEIS): China provided 9.7 million new jobs for urban residents in 2005, making the total employment population hit 760 million, a spokesman with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MLSS) said .
By the end of 2005, China recorded a 760 working population, with an increase of 40 million over that of five years ago. More than 180 million workers laid off from state-owned enterprises got re-employed, said spokesman Hu Xiaoyi at a press conference.
Last year, he said, the number of people without jobs stood at 8.39 million, with a registered unemployment rate of 4.2 per cent.
"This is the third consecutive year China has achieved government's goal of employment and re-employment targets," said Hu.
Meanwhile, China has established its basic social security systems backed up by insurance funds to ensure smooth transitions during China's social and economic changes.
The social insurance funds, including pension, unemployment, medical-care, work injury and maternity insurance, reached 700 billion yuan (87.5 billion US dollars) in 2005, with 540 billion yuan (70 billion US dollars) paid to beneficiaries, the spokesman said.
From 2001 to 2005, enterprise retirees received 1.5876 trillion yuan (198.45 billion US dollars) in basic pension, a rise of 803.2 billion yuan (100.4 billion US dollars), or 103 per cent, from the previous five years.
At the end of 2005, China's endowment insurance service covered 174.44 million, up 38.26 million, or 28 per cent, from at the end of 2000.
As for the unemployment insurance, the medical care, maternity insurance, and the work injury insurance, the number of participants have all increased, as well as the pool of insurance funds, according to the MLSS.
Hu therefore vowed that the government would take three years to have all businesses, construction firms in particular, to sign labor contracts with all of their employees to protect their due rights, given the facts that during the first three quarters of last year, over 230,000 labour dispute cases were raised involving 560,000 labourers and 90 per cent of them were settled, he said.
Meanwhile, another report says: China's momentous strategy of constructing a new countryside will give an impetus to the country's urbanisation progress, a renowned expert on urban studies has said.
Gu Wenxuan, secretary-general of the Chinese Society for Urban Studies (CSUS), made the remarks recently at a news briefing on China's top ten major events affecting the urban development in 2005.
The strategy of constructing a new countryside was chosen by a group of noted Chinese scholars as one of the top ten.
This is because the construction of a new countryside is closely linked to China's urbanisation process, Gu said.
According to Gu, China is experiencing a high-speed progress of urbanisation, with several hundred million urban labor forces moving to cities for jobs.
Official statistics show that currently the total number of migrant rural labor forces in cities has reached 130 million, and the figure will increase by 5 million or 6 million every year.
Gu noted that rural people's flow into cities has brought about many "empty villages".
So the Chinese government will accelerate its efforts to renovate these obsolete villages and improve living and working conditions for local rural residents.