Japanese Unemployment Falls to 22 Year Low

Japan’s unemployment rate fell to a more than 22-year low of 2.8 percent in February, offering some hope for the country’s economy, government data showed Friday.

Japanese consumers, however, remained reluctant to loosen their purse strings, as household spending, a key indicator of private consumption, slipped 3.8 percent in the same month from a year earlier to 260,644 yen ($2,300), the internal affairs ministry said.

The February jobless rate fell slightly from the 3.0 percent level marked in January.

The country’s job availability, or the ratio of job offers to seekers, remained unchanged from January at 1.43, the best level since July 1991, according to labor ministry data. It means that 143 positions were available for every 100 job seekers.

The data comes as the economy continues to recover moderately while domestic demand remains lackluster. The government has been trying to encourage companies to boost wages and spur consumer spending.

Japan’s jobs market remains tight, with labor shortages prevalent in the nonmanufacturing sector such as medical and nursing care. The last time the jobless rate stood at 2.8 percent was June 1994.

via Mainichi

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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