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China's urban unemployment rate at 4.1 pct in Q1

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BEIJING, April 25 (Xinhua) -- China's urban registered unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent in the first quarter of this year, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MOHRSS) said Wednesday.

The rate remained unchanged from the last quarter of 2011, and rested below the government's 4.6-percent annual target set for this year.

A total of 3.32 million new jobs were created in urban areas in the first three months of this year, up 9.6 percent from a year earlier, MOHRSS spokesman Yin Chengji said at a press conference.

Yin said a sluggish global market, rising trade protectionism and a slowdown in the national economy will all pose challenges to the country's employment situation this year.

However, he said that because of the delay effect, the impact of an economic slowdown might appear later in the year.

China's economy expanded 8.1 percent year on year in the first quarter, marking the slowest pace in almost three years.

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