China to use $14.9 billion from unemployment insurance fund to support jobs

BEIJING (Reuters) - China will utilize 100 billion yuan ($14.9 billion) from its unemployment insurance fund as part of its efforts to support a vocational training scheme and stabilize employment, the cabinet said on Tuesday.

“To keep economic operations within a reasonable range this year, we need to achieve relatively full employment,” the State Council said in a statement after a regular meeting.

Implementing a large-scale vocational training program would help stabilize employment and ease structural employment problems, and support economic transformation, the cabinet said.

The cabinet reaffirmed China’s six policy priorities to stabilize employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, investment, foreign investment and market expectations.

The government has pledged to adopt a more proactive employment policy this year as it needs to create 15 million new jobs in 2019.

China aims for economic growth of 6-6.5 percent this year, after growth slowed to a 28-year low of 6.6 percent in 2018.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Kevin Yao; Editing by Nick Macfie