The 19 Percent
The 19 Percent is a pioneering project structured around the stark number of 19.3%: the youth unemployment rate in China as of mid-2022. The 19 Percent advocates understanding the unemployment rate not merely in the blunt terms of economic policy, national security, or even politics and regime stability, but as a number that reflects millions of broken dreams. It has huge affective impact, as well as a cascade of quantifiable consequences. Through ethnographic study, the 19 Percent project aims to understand and explain what that unemployment represents regarding broader societal realities. It's also a call for empathy and people-centered conversations that understand trends as embodied phenomena that affect real lives. The 19% number also represents both the stark competition in Chinese society and the fact that the Chinese economy is no longer growing at sufficient rates to meet employment demand.