Japan's Sept. Job Availability Lowest in Nearly 7 Yrs Amid Pandemic

Friday 1442/3/13 - 2020/10/30
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Tokyo, Oct 30, 2020, SPA -- Japan's job availability fell to its lowest level in almost seven years in September, with many returning to the labor market following a gradual resumption of economic activity that had been slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, Kyodo cited government data as showing today, on Friday.
The job-to-applicant ratio worsened to 1.03 from 1.04 in August, falling for the ninth month in a row to its lowest level since December 2013, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. The ratio means there were 103 job openings for every 100 job seekers.
But the level of deterioration was less severe than a 0.04 point fall in August and a 0.12 point plunge in May, the sharpest monthly drop in over 46 years logged in the wake of the government's state of emergency declaration over the virus in early April.
Separate data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed the jobless rate in September stood at 3.0 percent, unchanged from August, when it increased for the second consecutive month.
The results showed the pandemic's initial heavy blow to the country's labor market has been gradually easing, although it remained in a severe condition even after the complete lifting of a state of emergency declaration over the virus in late May.
The number of furloughed employees stood at 5.97 million in April but it decreased to 1.97 million in September, falling below the 2 million mark for the first time in seven months.
In September, the number of jobless people, before seasonal adjustment, increased 420,000 from a year earlier to 2.10 million, up for the eighth straight month.
That of people in work fell 790,000 to 66.89 million, down for the sixth consecutive month.
"The (employment) situation remains severe (amid the pandemic) but the unemployment rate is holding," a government official said.
Of those with jobs, 35.29 million were regular workers, rising 480,000 from a year earlier and up for the fourth month in a row, while 20.79 million were nonregular employees, falling 1.23 million and down for the seventh consecutive month.
By industry, the accommodation and restaurant services sector, one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic, saw a larger fall in the number of workers than any other industry, losing 480,000 from the previous year to 4.03 million.
In manufacturing, the number fell 390,000 to 10.29 million.
23:28 LOCAL TIME 20:28 GMT