BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Although China's employment figures in the first half were "ideal", the country still faces great pressure to create jobs, a senior official said Friday.
The registered urban unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent at the end of June, unchanged from three months earlier, Yin Chengji, spokesman of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS), told a press conference.
A total of 9.11 million urban residents were registered as unemployed at the end of June, Yin said.
In the first half, China created 6.38 million new jobs in urban areas, compared with an annual target of 9 million for 2010.
At the end of 2009, the registered unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. The government aims to keep the urban registered unemployment rate below 4.6 percent this year.
"The task of stabilizing and expanding employment is still heavy," Yin said.
The challenges to efforts to boost employment included frequent natural disasters, an increasing influx of rural laborers into cities, economic uncertainties at home and abroad, resettlement of laid-off workers during national campaign to shut companies in polluting and energy-consuming industries and in sectors with excess capacity problems, he said.
Yin said the government would continue efforts to help increase employment, including offering free vocational training, setting up job information provision platforms, providing internship opportunities for unemployed college graduates and encouraging the unemployed to start their own businesses.