Japan’s unemployment rate rises for 1st time in 11 yrs

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Tokyo: The availability of jobs in Japan in 2020 marked the sharpest fall in 45 years, while the country’s unemployment rate increased for the first time in 11 years, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the government said in a report on Friday.

According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the job availability ratio fell 0.42 point to 1.18, equating to there being 118 job openings for every 100 people seeking work, reports Xinhua news agency.

The figure marked the fastest slide since a 0.59 point drop was booked in 1975, with the figure marking the lowest level since 2014, the Ministry said.Separately, the jobless rate in 2020 stood at 2.8 per cent, rising 0.4 per cent from the previous year, to book the first increase since 2009, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

The statistics bureau also said the number of unemployed people in 2020 increased by 290,000 to 1.91 million people, another 11-year high, while the number of employed people dropped by 480,000 to 66.76 million, marking the first decline in eight years.

The number of employees furloughed surged by 800,000 to 2.56 million, owing to the virus’ spread. The figure marked the highest level since comparable data became available in 1968, the Ministry’s data showed.

For the month of December, the unemployment rate stood at 2.9 per cent, while the job availability ratio came in at 1.06, with both figures remaining unchanged from the previous month, the latest data revealed.

“The data showed a continued significant impact from the coronavirus pandemic on the labor market. We will closely monitor developments,” Ryota Takeda, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

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