Japan's job availability improves to 44-year high
Japan Today -- Oct 31
Job availability in Japan improved to a fresh 44-year high in September as companies sought to ramp up hiring, government data showed Tuesday.

There were 1.64 openings for every job seeker, the highest level since January 1974 and up from 1.63 in August, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The nationwide unemployment rate fell to 2.3 percent, down from 2.4 percent the previous month and remaining near the lowest level since the early 1990s, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

The figures show that while companies are seeking to hire more amid solid demand from overseas and at home, Japan's fast-graying population is struggling to yield enough workers.

Koya Miyamae, an economist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc, said that the job availability ratio is likely to continue to rise as the number of workers dwindles.

"The working-age population is projected to begin shrinking in the mid-2020s, so we are going to see this labor shortage get even worse."

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has laid out plans to accept more foreign workers in blue-collar jobs starting next April in a bid to prevent the labor crunch from stunting growth in the world's third largest economy.

The unemployment rate for men fell by 0.1 percentage point to 2.4 percent, while that for women remained at 2.3 percent.

The percentage of people in the working ages of between 15 and 64 with jobs rose to 77.3 percent in September, the highest since comparable data became available in 1968.

News source: Japan Today
Mar 20
As trade talks between Japan and the US look likely to start soon, and the price of oil drops in Japan, the value of the Yen is increasingly under threat of deflation. (newsonjapan.com)
Mar 20
The average price of all types of land in urban areas rose last year for the first time since 1992 as the growing influx of foreign tourists rejuvenated real estate investment, the government said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Mar 19
The Japanese economy will likely once again be assessed as "recovering at a moderate pace" in the government's monthly report due out Wednesday, which also will note potential risks from overseas economies. (Nikkei)
Mar 16
Japan will tighten oversight of pay for foreign employees through ordinances issued Friday, aiming to address major concerns over working conditions as the country prepares to accept more labor from abroad starting next month. (Nikkei)
Mar 09
Since the 2008 global financial crisis, expansionary monetary policy has been the order of the day in most of the major advanced economies. (Japan Times)
Mar 08
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga denied a media report Thursday that the government is considering introducing a minimum wage for specific industrial sectors that would apply to workers nationwide, regardless of where they live. (Japan Times)
Mar 04
The inflation outlook is looking dismal for the Bank of Japan as cheaper oil and falling mobile phone charges threaten to push price growth toward zero by mid-summer. (Japan Times)
Mar 02
Japanese employees and companies are expected to continue shouldering a relatively high ratio of taxes to income. Officials say that on average, 42.8 percent of income will go to taxes and social welfare premiums in fiscal 2019. (NHK)
Feb 26
The Bank of Japan can abandon its 2 percent inflation target or suspend efforts to achieve it once the job market is tight enough because the public is better off having prices fall, not rise, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. (Japan Today)
Feb 21
Japan recorded its biggest trade deficit in almost five years in January, extending its run of red ink to a fourth month as exports to China tumbled. (NHK)