According to data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in April increased to 6.1 percent, the highest since February 2020, when the pandemic first started.

The population’s unemployment rate for those aged 16-24 surged to 18.2 percent in April.

The unemployment rate in many key cities increased to 6.7 percent from 6 percent. The average weekly employee working hours across the country dropped to 46.2 hours from 47.3 hours in March.

The data was released as the Chinese regime continues to carry out full or partial lockdowns of multiple cities across the country to contain the latest coronavirus outbreak.

Official data also reflects that retail and manufacturing sectors were hit hard due to strict Covid measures.

China has imposed strong lockdowns on financial hub Shanghai with 25 residents amid the latest Covid outbreak over the past two months. The city plans to reopen next month after the economy took a severe hit and public anger has been mounting.

China’s Premier Li Keqiang recently warned of the country’s grave employment situation following the sweeping lockdown as part of Beijing’s zero-Covid policy.

Besides pessimistic unemployment data, other key economic indicators in April also deteriorated.

Data shows that the country’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.1% from the prior year, the fastest pace in five months.

Earlier this month, China’s National Bureau of Statistics data showed that the manufacturing and services sectors dropped sharply in April. The data is the lowest in more than two years due to the Zero-Covid strategy affecting China’s overall economy.

The purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector fell to 47.4 in April, down from 49.5 in March.

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