China pledges proactive employment policy as economy slows

Government will support companies that refrain from laying off workers

BEIJING (Reuters) — China's cabinet has pledged to implement more proactive employment policies to cope with rising pressures on job creation, state television said on Tuesday.

The government would take steps, including giving tax breaks for firms set up by college graduates and unemployed people, to help create more jobs, state television cited a regular meeting of the State Council as saying.

The government will support companies if they refrain from laying off workers via the unemployment insurance scheme and also help rural migrant workers to start new businesses.

"Faced with the increasing pressure on employment, we must take a more proactive employment policy," the cabinet said.

The government's pledge to boost employment came after data showed China's annual economic growth slowed to a six-year low of seven per cent in the first quarter.

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