BEIJING — China will need to create 10 million new jobs every year to keep its economy moving forward in a sustainable fashion, Premier Li Keqing told an industry group ahead of a key government meeting this weekend.

Li, reportedly speaking to the All China Federation of Trade Unions late last month, said China will need to grow its economy by at least 7.2 percent each year to continue adequate job creation and maintain current patterns. The trade union, an arm of the Chinese government, posted the text of the speech on its website Wednesday evening and state-run media also reported the comments.

Li’s speech was made public just a few days before he and other top central government officials are set to convene in a critical meeting this weekend to spell out economic and other reforms slated over the next 10 years. The Third Plenum, an important gathering of the new leadership team, meets Nov. 9-12 and is expected to unveil more specifics about how China plans to address upcoming economic challenges.

Chinese government leaders have already spoken about the need to move the world’s second-largest economy away from a reliance on mass manufacturing into a more sustainable pattern based on innovation and domestic consumption. By Tuesday, more specifics are expected on how the country might get there.

In his speech, Li said China must find other means beyond government stimulus programs to grow the economy.

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