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  China aims to create 9m jobs in urban areas in 2009

Human Resources and Social Security Minister Yin Weimin said in Beijing on Monday that China aims to create 9 million new jobs in urban districts next year.

Yin said China wants to keep the registered urban unemployment rate under 4.6 percent next year.

"The economic slowdown due to the financial crisis will add difficulties for Chinese seeking employment. The job situation in China is grim, so effective measures must be taken to help new graduates, migrant workers or other groups, he said.

The urban unemployment rate in the past five years was below 4.3 percent, but this year's target was set at 4.5 percent because of the severe employment situation.

The government was trying to reduce the burdens of employers by such methods as deferring payment of social security funds.

Unemployed migrant workers who return home are being encouraged to start businesses. They will get credit extensions, tax breaks, business registration and information consulting service, according to the country's central rural work conference, which concluded on Sunday.

Ministry of Agriculture figures from 10 provinces and municipalities show that about 7.8 million migrant laborers had returned home earlier than in previous years for the Spring Festival.

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