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Japan’s Jan jobless rate rises, job availability hits 21-month-high -Breaking

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© Reuters. In Tokyo, Japan, November 18, 2020, people wearing masks protect themselves from the harmful effects of coronavirus (COVID-19), a virus that has been ravaging their city. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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By Kantaro Komiya

TOKYO (Reuters – Japan’s unemployment rate rose from 2.8% to 2.8%, and a measure of job availability grew by 21 months to a high point in January, according to data released Friday by government.

This mixed data was generated at a time when firms from the world’s largest economy concluded annual labour talks. Meanwhile, downside pressures due to record coronavirus numbers and the Ukraine crise overshadowed the recovery outlook.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.7%, which is also the median forecast according to Reuters polls of economists.

Labour ministry data revealed that the January jobs-toapplicants ratio was 1.20. This is up 0.03 percent from 1.17 in December and higher than Reuters’ forecast of 1.16.

This reading is the highest recorded since April 2020’s 1.31 mark.

According to a health ministry official, the growth of job openings was driven by face-to-face and manufacturing sectors. This is because more businesses had posted data prior to the spike in domestic COVID-19 infection later in October.

The official stated that the February data will show the Omicron variant’s impact on the job market and the number of applicants.

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