Unemployment increases in 38 prefectures under P.M. Koizumi

Analyzing the increase in unemployment under the Koizumi Cabinet, Akahata of March 13 said that unemployment rates increased in 38 of 47 prefectures in the two years of the Koizumi administration.

This shows that the creation of 5.3 million jobs loudly promised by the Liberal Democratic-Komei coalition government under Prime Minister Jun'ichiro Koizumi soon after the inauguration turned out to be an empty promise.

The unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in April 2001, when the Koizumi Cabinet took office. In July it broke the 5 percent line for the first time. In August and October 2002 and in January 2003 it marked 5.5 percent, the highest on record.

Job offer rate to high school graduates is 0.9

A trial calculation by the Public Management Ministry of the increase of the unemployed in every prefecture during the two years under the Koizumi LDP-Komei government shows that unemployment increased in 38 (80 percent) out of 47 prefectures. Unemployment declined in only 4 prefectures (Tochigi, Aichi, Shimane and Kochi). Even in these prefectures where unemployment apparently declined, the number of working people also declined due to corporate restructuring. Aichi Prefecture's statistics section explained, "The reduction can be attributed to some of the unemployed who are discouraged from seeking jobs by the severe situation over jobs."

Job insecurity is casting a shadow on both middle-aged and young people.

A survey taken by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in November 2002 of high school students expected to graduate in March 2003 shows that the ratio of job offers to seekers is 0.9. This means that the number of job offers is less than that of job-seeking graduates. In March 2001, the month before the Koizumi Cabinet came in office, the ratio was 1.05, with sufficient numbers of jobs for seekers. The percentage of high school graduates who are informally ensured jobs also declined from 70 to 60 percent in the two years.

An international comparison in the unemployment rate shows Japan's extraordinary position. In the five years from 1997 to 2002, the unemployment rate in Britain fell from 5.3 to 3.1 percent, in Germany, from 11.5 percent to 9.8 percent, in France, from 12.3 percent to 9.1 percent, and in Canada, from 9.1 percent to 7.6 percent.

Unemployment increases in U.S. and Japan

The unemployment rate increased in the United States (from 4.9 percent to 5.8 percent). The increase in Japan (from 3.4 percent to 5.4 percent) was partly due to the increased burden on the people arising from the 1997 consumption tax rate increase.

The Koizumi LDP-Komei government with their "structural reform" policy takes it for granted that under this policy the number of business failures and the number of unemployed will increase, and that the people will have to pay more for social services. The government says that a social safety net will be provided against unemployment. This is a double-talk. The government is going to cut unemployment benefits from May. (end)

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