Japan’s January unemployment rate rises, job availability hits 21-month high

  • January unemployment rate 2.8% vs f’cast 2.7%
  • Ratio Jan jobs-candidates 1.20 vs f’cast 1.16

TOKYO, March 4 (Reuters) – Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 2.8% and a job availability indicator hit its highest level in 21 months in January, government data showed on Friday.

The mixed data came as companies in the world’s third-largest economy wrap up annual labor talks, while downward pressure from record coronavirus tolls and the Ukraine crisis overshadow prospects for recovery. Read more

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate compared with 2.7% in December, which was also the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.

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The jobs-to-applicant ratio was 1.20 in January, Labor Department data showed, up 0.03 points from 1.17 the previous month and better than a Reuters poll forecast of 1.16 .

The reading was the highest since 1.31 marked in April 2020.

A Department of Health official said the growth in job vacancies – driven by the manufacturing and face-to-face services sectors – outpaced that of job seekers as more companies submitted job vacancies. job posting data before national COVID-19 infections spike later in the month. Read more

“The impact of the Omicron variant (outbreak), on both job postings and job seekers, will be reflected in the February data,” the official said.

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Reporting by Kantaro Komiya; Editing by Sam Holmes

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