China's urban unemployment rate experienced a notable decline in May, dropping to 5%, according to recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics. This marks a significant improvement from the 5.3% high recorded in February earlier this year. The overall unemployment rate remained unchanged from April's figure, reflecting a stable labor market.

The data showed a positive trend across various age groups. The unemployment rate for the 16-24 age group fell to 14.2% in May, down from 14.7% in April and a high of 15.3% in February. This decline marks the lowest level for youth unemployment since the statistics bureau revised its methodology at the start of the year to exclude students enrolled in schools.

For the 25-29 age group, the urban jobless rate decreased to 6.6% in May, down from 7.1% in April. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for the 30-59 age group remained steady at 4%, unchanged from the previous month. These figures suggest a broad-based recovery in employment across different age demographics.

China had previously suspended the release of its youth unemployment rate last summer when the figure soared to a record high of 21.3% in June 2023. The statistics bureau then revised its methodology to exclude students from the calculation of the youth unemployment rate and resumed the release of this data at the start of 2024. The revised figures have been significantly lower than the 20% levels seen last year, indicating a marked improvement in the job market for young people.

The overall urban unemployment rate in China has shown a downward trend throughout the first half of the year, starting at 5.2% in January, rising to 5.3% in February, and then gradually decreasing to 5.2% in March and April, before hitting 5% in May. This pattern highlights the resilience of China's labor market amid various economic challenges.