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Businessweek
Economics

China Youth Unemployment Crisis Leaves Tens of Millions Jobless

Covid lockdowns and the government campaign to rein in private tutoring and tech companies have made positions even harder to come by.

Zheng Jin has applied for more than 400 jobs in the past three months.

Zheng Jin has applied for more than 400 jobs in the past three months.

Photographer: Shao Xiaomin

When Zheng Jin was laid off from her job at one of China’s biggest property developers in February, part of her was relieved to get out of an industry in decline. Three months later, and after applying for more than 400 jobs with no luck, she’s panicking.

“I can’t see light at the end of the tunnel,” says the 26-year-old, who’s had about a dozen job interviews without any favorable offers. She’d worked as a market researcher in Nanjing and was let go as part of a 30% reduction in the company’s staff after the government imposed stricter financing rules in the real estate industry, plunging the sector into crisis. “It feels that life has no hope,” she says. “I do not know how much longer I can take it.”