China’s unemployment rate increased to 6.1 percent in April, the highest level since the early stages of the Covid-19 epidemic in February 2020.
It comes as the world’s second largest economy experiences a significant slowdown due to spreading lockdowns.
Retailers and manufacturers were also heavily impacted, according to official statistics.
In March and April, full or partial lockdowns were implemented in dozens of locations, including a lengthy shutdown of Shanghai’s business center.
Following the greatest outbreaks of the virus since 2020, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang recently called the country’s job condition as “complex and dismal.”
Nonetheless, the administration hopes to keep the unemployment rate below 5.5 percent for the entire year.
The spike in unemployment occurred as a result of the Chinese economy’s lockup.
According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, retail sales fell by 11.1 percent in April from a year earlier, the worst drop since March 2020.
That was far worse than the 3.5 percent decrease in March, and it fell short of experts’ projections of a 6.1 percent drop.
At the same time, industrial production declined 2.9 percent year over year as supply chains were disrupted by steps to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
That was the worst drop since February 2020, and it reflected a reversal of March’s 5% increase.
Shanghai, on the other hand, announced plans on Monday for a return to more regular living at the beginning of next month, marking the end of a lockdown that lasted more than six weeks and contributed to China’s dramatic economic slump.
In the clearest timeline yet, Deputy Mayor Zong Ming stated that the reopening of the financial, manufacturing, and trade hub will be done in phases, with mobility restrictions mostly in place until May 21 to prevent an outbreak of illnesses, then gradually lessening.