News: The State Council has decided to form a leading group on employment (国务院就业工作领导小组) on 22 May, and has appointed Vice Premier Hu Chunhua (胡春华) as its chief. Main duties of this leading group include coordinating national employment work; researching major issues in employment; working on related regulations, plans and policies etc.
Quick Take: Employment has evidently become China’s “political red line”—the country has vowed to create more than 11 million urban jobs and maintain the unemployment rate of 5.5% as its primary goals in 2019. However, as tensions with the US and the continuing domestic economic downturn have further complicated the situation, this leading group is created to prevent employment from worsening off and causing potential disruptions that could damage social stability. This fatal task is assigned to Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, who has previously headed multiple leading groups dedicated to CCP’s key initiatives, including State Council Leading Group of Poverty Alleviation and Development and Central Rural Work Leading Group.