China Seems to Be Lying About Its Unemployment Rate

August 19, 2015 8:52 PM

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China Seems to Be Lying About Its Unemployment Rate

What's the unemployment rate in China? Last month it was 4.1 percent. The month before it was 4.1 percent. Last year it was also 4.1 percent. And in 2013? That's right: 4.1 percent.

A new NBER paper calls this "abnormally low and suspiciously stable," which seems like a fair judgment. So the authors, their suspicions piqued, used a nationally representative household survey to calculate the actual unemployment rate. Unsurprisingly, it turns out to differ substantially from 4.1 ...

Also read: U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November; unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent

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