NPR’s Planet Money has a piece out this morning on the lack of confidence that economists and multinational agencies like the International Monetary Fund have in China’s official, 6.5% unemployment rate.
Eswar Prasad, former head of the IMF’s China division:
[The official unemployment] number has no credibility at all.
The unemployment rate in China is one of the most useless and ridiculous statistics out there. No one pays any attention to it, because everyone knows it’s a complete fiction.
NPR blames the Middle Kingdom’s sheer enormity for the lack of trustworthy statistics:
It’s not like China isn’t trying. It has a national statistics office that works very hard. But the country is so big, and changing so quickly, that it is actually really hard to keep track of what is going on.