Japan’s Unemployment Rate Rises, Available Jobs Fall
Arslan Butt • 1 min read
The unemployment rate in Japan soared to an over three-year high during August while the availability of jobs declined to the lowest levels seen in more than six years as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate across Japan increased to 3%, coming in line with economists’ expectations and touching the highest level since May 2017.
Meanwhile, the jobs-to-applicants ratio touched 1.04 from the previous month’s reading of 1.08. The figure came in slightly below expectations as well, with economists having forecast a reading of 1.05 instead.
While recent data releases had pointed to signs of economic recovery and an improvement in demand, both domestic and external, rising unemployment levels could weigh heavily on the economy and delay recovery. These latest numbers for unemployment indicate more strain on the world’s third largest economy, which has fallen into recession even before the beginning of the pandemic.
This could prompt the government to introduce more fiscal support, especially to small and medium sized businesses to keep the unemployment rate from rising further. The new prime minister Yoshihide Suga has already committed to working towards saving jobs and supporting businesses to overcome the fallout from the ongoing pandemic.