Ja­pan job­less rate edges up to 3.8pc in July

The Financial Daily - - INTERNATIONAL -

TOKYO: Ja­pan's job­less rate edged up to 3.8 per­cent in July from 3.7 per­cent in the pre­vi­ous month, of­fi­cial data showed Fri­day.

Mar­kets had ex­pected the July un­em­ploy­ment rate to re­main flat at 3.7 per­cent. The job­less rate had hit 3.5 per­cent in May, the low­est since late 1997. Asep­a­rate sur­vey from the labour min­istry showed the ra­tio of job of­fers to job seekers stood at 1.10 in July, mean­ing there were 110 job of­fers for ev­ery 100 job hunters.

It re­mained flat from the pre­vi­ous month, the high­est rate since June 1992, ac­cord­ing to the labour min­istry. The rise in job­less­ness sug­gests more peo­ple have started seek­ing work as they see the labour mar­ket im­prov­ing, lead­ing them to be counted as job-seekers, which pushes up the un­em­ploy­ment rate. The in­ter­nal af­fairs min­istry also said house­hold spend­ing fell 5.9 per­cent year-on-year in July. House­hold spend­ing slipped 3.0 per­cent in June, 8.0 per­cent in May and 4.6 per­cent in April.

The con­sec­u­tive months of de­cline fol­lowed the na­tion's first sales tax hike in 17 years. The tax was raised to 8.0 per­cent from 5.0 per­cent on April 1 in a bid to help shrink Ja­pan's mam­moth na­tional debt, one of the heav­i­est bur­dens among wealthy na­tions.-AFP

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