Japan’s unemployment rate climbed back to 4.7 percent in September, up 0.1 percentage point from August, for the first rise since June, when the rate rose to 4.7 percent from 4.6 percent, the Management and Coordination Agency said Tuesday.
The ranks of unemployed rose by 30,000, or 0.9 percent, from a year earlier to 3.2 million, logging the first upturn in five months, the agency said in a preliminary report.
The number of men out of work increased 70,000, or 3.8 percent, to 1.93 million, while the figure for women dropped by 50,000, or 3.8 percent, to 1.26 million.
The jobless rate worsened back to a seasonally adjusted 4.7 percent in September from 4.6 percent for August. The number stayed at 4.7 percent in June and July.
“The 0.1-point rise in the latest month shows that the employment condition remains severe,” an agency official said. “We need to keep on watching the job situation with care.”
Separately, the Labor Ministry said the ratio of job offers to job-seekers remained flat at a seasonally adjusted 0.62 in September.
The ratio, an indicator of demand for labor, means 62 jobs were being offered for every 100 job-seekers during the month. The ratio was 0.59 in June and 0.6 in July.
Job offers increased 0.3 percent from August, whereas the number of job-seekers sagged 0.6 percent, according to the ministry.
The Management and Coordination Agency said 64.8 million people were employed in September, down 340,000, or 0.5 percent, from a year before. There were 38.36 million male workers, down 200,000, and 26.44 million female workers, down 140,000.
Of the total labor force, 6.32 million people hoped to change jobs, up by 50,000, or 0.8 percent, of whom 2.51 million were actively seeking new work, the agency said.
The number of people laid off in September increased by 10,000 from a year earlier to 990,000 for the first upturn in seven months, while the number of people who voluntarily left their jobs slipped by 90,000 to 1.09 million for the third consecutive monthly drop.
For men, the unemployment rate was highest between the ages of 15 and 24, at 10.5 percent, down 0.2 point from a year before, and between the ages of 55 and 64, at 6.3 percent, up 0.1 point.
The 15-24 age group includes those looking for work after graduating from school, while the 55-64 group includes those seeking work after retirement.
For women, the jobless rate was highest between the ages of 15 and 24, at 8.4 percent, down 0.2 point, and between the ages of 25 and 34, at 6.8 percent, 0.6 point lower.
By industrial sector, there was 14.6 million workers in wholesaling, retailing and restaurants, down by 450,000, or 3 percent, and 13.26 million in manufacturing, off 120,000, or 0.9 percent.
The number of workers leaped in the service sector by 360,000, or 2.1 percent, to 17.17 million and in the transport and telecommunications sectors by 60,000, or 1.5 percent, to 4.11 million.
Summer bonuses up
Last summer’s average bonus grew for the first time in three years, amounting to 442,921 yen, up 0.5 percent from a year before, the Labor Ministry said Tuesday quoting a survey of offices and plants with five or more workers.
Combined earnings for regular working hours and overtime in September rose 1.1 percent to 284,298 yen on average, the ministry said in its monthly report.
Overtime in Japan’s manufacturing sector in the reporting month — a key gauge of the economy — averaged 14 hours, up 9.3 percent.
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