Chinese officials say China's employment outlook is grim as the country's slowing economy has triggered a rise in the number of unemployed workers.
China's Human Resource and Social Security Minister Yin Weimin says the impact of the international economic situation on jobs is still unfolding.
Yin adds that small and medium-sized businesses have been hit the hardest, with many either having closed or cut back production.
He says China has made stabilizing employment a top priority.
One reason Chinese officials are concerned about rising unemployment is because it could lead to more strikes and protests.
Yin says the current unemployment rate is four percent, but that figure does not include the millions of unemployed migrant workers who come to China's coastal cities to work in factories.
China's Human Resource Ministry puts the total number of jobless at eight-point-three million.
China has rolled out a 586 billion dollar stimulus package to boost its economy, betting that extra spending for the construction of infrastructure projects will create more jobs.
In the latest quarter, China's economic growth fell to nine percent. Last year, it grew by nearly 12 percent.