Japan Jobless Rate Falls Below 5%

Japan’s jobless rate fell below 5 percent in January for the first time in nearly a year and job availability rose, in a sign steady improvements in exports and output are spreading to other sectors of the economy.

But analysts expect the recovery in job conditions to remain slow in the coming months as companies are still far from operating at full capacity in the face of feeble domestic demand.

“Exports and industrial production have been improving so unemployment has fallen as a result of that, and I expect this to continue for the first half of this year,” said Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief Japan economist at Credit Suisse.

“But I don’t expect the trend to continue past mid-year. I can’t see domestic demand improving markedly, so I don’t see substantial falls in unemployment either.”


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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza