China has begun to invest almost 172.2 billion yuan ($25.5 billion) of basic endowment insurance funds, social security authorities said on Friday. As of the end of June, eight provincial regions, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hubei and Shaanxi provinces, had entrusted 410 billion yuan of endowment insurance funds to the National Council for Social Security Fund for investment, Lu Aihong, spokesman for the Human Resources and Social Security Ministry, told a news conference. The money that is not being invested right away will be transferred to the council in accordance with contracts that have been signed with the eight provincial regions, he said. According to Lu, the ministry will push for more provincial regions to invest their endowment insurance funds, while also researching the possibility of investing urban and rural residents' social endowment insurance for the unemployed. China's social security fund recorded an accumulated surplus of 6.63 trillion yuan at the end of last year. Its income from January to June reached 3.14 trillion, while its expenditure stood at 2.47 trillion yuan, according to the ministry. At Friday's conference, the ministry also disclosed that the registered unemployment rate in urban areas for the second quarter this year stood at 3.95 percent, a year-on-year decline of 0.1 percentage point. It added that 7.35 million new jobs were created from January to June, 180,000 more than the same period last year. China has set a target of creating 11 million jobs in urban areas this year as an estimated 15 million workers, including 7.95 million college graduates, are expected to enter the urban job market. design your own wristband
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