As many as 12 million people in China who are looking for jobs will not be able to find employment this year, an official newspaper reported on Saturday.
China's top employment official said even if the country achieved this year's 8 percent economic growth target, only about half the 24 million jobseekers in the country would likely find work, the China Daily said.
"The shortfall between supply and demand (for jobs) will become larger than last year due to the failure to create enough job opportunities," the paper quoted Yin Weimin, minister of human resources and social security, as saying.
Employment is especially sensitive for the government, which bases its claim to rule on delivering economic gains and is worried about unrest among unemployed workers.
Thirty-million migrants lost jobs when factories closed as global demand for exports collapsed last year, said the government, which has given no details of overall unemployment or how many new jobs have been created.
Chinese officials have said Beijing is confident it can keep official urban unemployment below 4.5 percent this year after it hit 4.3 percent in the first two quarters. That rate measures only a narrow segment of the economy, focusing largely on big and state-owned companies.
Officials have warned that China's recovery is not firmly established, despite an acceleration in economic growth last quarter to 7.9 percent over a year earlier, up from 6.1 percent the previous quarter. That was boosted by Beijing's 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion) stimulus package, which is pumping money into the economy through building highways and other public works that have created construction jobs.