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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

China Stops Releasing High Youth Unemployment Statistics

China has suspended the release of monthly data on joblessness among young people after the figure hit consecutive record highs in recent months amid a broader economic slump, Laura He reported for CNN.

Photo Insert: The suspension of the release of joblessness figures comes after China’s youth unemployment rate hit consecutive record highs in recent months.

The news, which drew immediate backlash and ridicule on social media, was announced by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday when it released its regular batch of monthly economic indicators.

Previously, the NBS unveiled urban unemployment rates for 16- to 24-year-olds each month. Fu Linghui, a spokesman for the NBS, explained it was because the current statistics “need to be improved.”

The number of students in the age group has grown in recent years and their main task should be to study, rather than to seek jobs, he said. “Whether the students looking for jobs before graduation should be included … is something that people have different views on. It needs further research,” he added.

Defining the age range of “young job seekers” also needs further study, as young people are now spending more years in school, he said.

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

The NBS will now conduct “in-depth research” to improve its methodology, Fu said, adding that the data will be released again once the process is completed. He did not give a time frame.

The suspension comes after China’s youth unemployment rate hit consecutive record highs in recent months. From April to June, the jobless rate for 16- to 24-year-olds reached 20.4%, 20.8%, and 21.3%, respectively.

Market & economy: Market economist in suit and tie reading reports and analysing charts in the office located in the financial district.

The announcement quickly became a trending topic online.

“What they really meant to say is, the current data is too ugly, let’s not look at it for now,” said a comment with more than 9,000 upvotes on the microblogging site Weibo, where a hashtag about the news garnered 100 million views.

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