China Has a Youth Unemployment Problem Because College Grads Are Waiting for Jobs That Don’t Exist

Despite economic recovery, young people find it hard to land jobs, and Beijing can’t seem to find a solution

HONG KONG—China’s failure to reverse a sharp rise in youth unemployment is becoming a bigger headache for Beijing, with many economists saying the problem reflects a jobs mismatch that could defy government solutions for years.

Joblessness among young people aged 16 to 24 rose to a record of 20.4% in April, significantly higher than a few months ago and far above the prepandemic rate of 13% or lower in most of 2019.