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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 30 - July 6  > Japan’s unemployment rate reaches record high of 5.7 percent
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2010 June 30 - July 6 [LABOR]

Japan’s unemployment rate reaches record high of 5.7 percent

August 29, 2009
Japan’s unemployment rate hit a record high of 5.7 percent in July, showing that the labor market is continuing to decline, thus contradicting the government assertion that the nation’s economy has hit bottom and things can’t get worse.

The government figures released on August 28 indicate that the unemployment rate is rising faster than expected by the government and private research firms.

The rapid worsening of the labor market has been occurring as major exporters, including automobile and electronics, maintained profits by throwing away contingent workers and reducing orders to suppliers.

More than 230,000 full-time workers lost their jobs in the period between October 2008 and September this year, according to the government.

The seasonally adjusted ratio of job offers to job seekers was 0.42 percent, reaching lows for three months in a row.

The number of unemployed increased in all age groups. Among the men aged between 15 and 24, the number of jobless increased 110,000 year on year and the unemployment rate reached 12 percent.

In Japan, the government under the Liberal Democratic Party and the Komei Party has promoted adverse revisions to labor laws while giving large corporations generous tax breaks under the name of assistance for research and development. Many large corporations have increased the ratio of contingent workers relative to their total workforce as a handy cost adjustment valve. – Akahata, August 29, 2009
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