Unemployment tabbed China's top problem

Feb. 28, 2009 at 4:25 PM

BEIJING, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming says rising unemployment is a major problem facing China.

Chen said unemployment is more of an immediate problem than how to improve the country's gross domestic product numbers, the BBC reported Saturday.

"I don't worry a lot about the GDP growth, however the biggest challenge to China is unemployment," said Chen, who predicted his country's economy would grow by about 8 percent this year.

"We need to create sufficient jobs for university graduates and the redundant workforce from the countryside."

Chen also said the government was attempting to help Chinese farmers during the economic downturn.

"We need to provide better medicare insurance for them, we need to provide better guarantees for their children's schooling and better guarantees for their pensions," he told the BBC.

"It is impossible for China to survive in an isolated way from the financial crisis."

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