Business & Economy

Japan’s unemployment rate falls 2.7 percent in October

Tokyo, Nov 30 (EFE).- The unemployment rate in Japan ticked down to 2.7 percent in October, which is one-tenth less than the previous month, the government data showed on Tuesday.

The ministry of interior and communications data showed that the number of unemployed remained 1.82 million people in October, which means a year-on-year decrease of 320,000 people or 14.9 percent.

The number of employed people in Japan stood at 66.5 million last month, which is 350,000 fewer individuals or a decrease of 0.5%, compared to the same month in 2020.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio was 115 per 100 looking for work in Japan or 1.15, down from 1.16 in the previous month.

The unemployment decline coincides with the lifting of emergency measures and curbs imposed by the government to stop the virus outbreak.

The curbs mainly affected the services sector and restaurant sectors and took away several temporary jobs.

However, the emergence of the newest Covid-19 variant, Omicron, marked as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization, has triggered fresh worries and fears about economy-crippling global lockdowns.

Japan on Tuesday banned new entries by foreigners globally for at least one month to avert the outbreak of the Omicron variant in the country.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the measure, reversing a three-week relaxation of travel restrictions, was needed to “avoid the worst-case scenario.”

Very little is known about the new variant that “has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning,” the World Health Organization said.

The WHO said it was not yet clear if the Omicron variant was more transmissible compared to other Covid-19 variants or if it causes more severe disease.

“Preliminary data suggests that there are increasing rates of hospitalization in South Africa, but this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected, rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron,” the WHO said.

In Japan, health authorities have not detected any infection from the new variant, even as a person from Namibia was under investigation after testing positive for Covid-19. EFE

Meanwhile, Japan’s industrial production increased 1.1 percent in October compared to the previous month, the data by the economy and trade minister showed.

The sectors that gained the most on the month-on-month growth of the indicator in October were motor vehicles, production machinery, and electrical machinery.

Compared to the same month in 2020, production fell 4.7 percent.

In contrast, the sectors that contributed the most to the decline were chemicals, steel, iron, and other non-ferrous metals, and electronic components.

According to data from a survey conducted by the ministry with Japanese companies, domestic industrial production is expected to advance 9.0 percent in November and 2.1 percent in December.

Industrial production measures the pace of factories and is considered a key indicator to anticipate the progress of the Japanese economy, highly dependent on the manufacturing sector. EFE


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