Japan's unemployment rate improves for 1st time in 3 months

Tokyo, May 30 (IANS): Japan's unemployment rate in April dropped 0.2 percentage point from a month earlier to 2.6 per cent, marking the first improvement in three months amid the recovery of job market, the government said on Tuesday.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of employed people stood at a seasonally adjusted 67.44 million, which increases compared to 67.36 million people with jobs in the same period in 2019, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

The ratio of job offers to job seekers, meanwhile, remained flat in April at 1.32, separate data from the Labour Ministry showed on Tuesday.

The figure equates to there being 132 job openings for every 100 people looking for work.

The Labour Ministry also said the number of people seeking work in the recording period dropped 0.7 per cent, while the number of job openings was down from the previous month by 0.6 per cent.

New job openings in the construction sector fell 9.6 per cent, while those in the key manufacturing sector dropped 9.3 per cent, the Ministry's data showed.

Job openings in the accommodation and food services sector marked an uptick, however, climbing 8.2 per cent from a year earlier, it added.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, 1.80 million people were unemployed in April, the statistics bureau said, with the number dropping 7.7 per cent from March.

In the recording period, 730,000 people left their jobs of their own volition, declining by 11 per cent from a month earlier, the Ministry said, while 440,000 people were laid off, 15.4 per cent less than the previous month.

The rate of unemployment edged down 0.3 point from a month earlier to 2.7 per cent for males, while the rate for females stood at 2.4 per cent, down 0.1 point.

While the unemployment rate is projected to keep dropping to pre-pandemic levels in the lower 2 per cent range, according to sources with knowledge of the matter.

Prior to the pandemic, Japan had already been contending with an intensifying labour crunch amid the nation's rapidly aging and shrinking population.



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Title: Japan's unemployment rate improves for 1st time in 3 months

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