China National Development and Reform Commission spokeswoman Meng Wei warned that the job market faces “new changes” ahead and slowdown in the economy will pressure the job markets. She also noted that some factories in the export hub of Guangdong province have shut earlier than usual ahead of Lunar new year holiday.

Meng said “from the viewpoint of ‘changes’, the external environment is complex and austere.” And, “Within the changes, there is something to worry about, and there is downward pressure on the economy. To a certain extent, the pressure will be passed onto jobs.”

Her comments came after survey-based data showed unemployment rate rose 0.1% to 4.9% in December, release yesterday.

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