Why youth unemployment is sky-high in China's cities : The Indicator from Planet Money Every day, A Ze, a young woman in Beijing, would wake up early, do her makeup, and walk to her old work bus stop... and keep going. She'd left her job but couldn't let her parents know.

China's urban youth unemployment rate hit 21% in June, a number way up from pre-pandemic times. But at the same time, factories are crying out for workers.

Today, we talk about China's slowdown in growth, and how it's hit white-collar job openings the hardest, and how China's educated young people are sometimes opting out of work entirely.

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

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Young, "spoiled and miserable" in China

Young, "spoiled and miserable" in China

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Feng Li/Getty Images
(Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
Feng Li/Getty Images

Every day, A Ze, a young woman in Beijing, would wake up early, do her makeup, and walk to her old work bus stop... and keep going. She'd left her job but couldn't let her parents know.

China's urban youth unemployment rate hit 21% in June, a number way up from pre-pandemic times. But at the same time, factories are crying out for workers.

Today, we talk about China's slowdown in growth, and how it's hit white-collar job openings the hardest, and how China's educated young people are sometimes opting out of work entirely.

For sponsor-free episodes of The Indicator from Planet Money, subscribe to Planet Money+ via Apple Podcasts or at plus.npr.org.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, Newsletter.