The ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Wednesday released a set of employment-boosting proposals, including a call for government subsidies to companies that have introduced work-sharing schemes to maintain job numbers.

LDP General Council Chairman Mitsuo Horiuchi, who is leading a group of LDP lawmakers studying labor issues, announced the proposals at a news conference.

The report says work-sharing has yet to become popular in Japan because it does not reduce companies’ fixed costs, such as commuting and housing allowances.

It also says the government needs to deal with the increase in young unemployment by further utilizing private job agencies and job-training offices, it said.

Horiuchi said employment agencies should be allowed access to jobs offered at publicly run placement centers.

According to the report, the government should conduct a survey of young people who have remained unemployed since graduation and include the results in a database to better help job-seekers.

In addition, it says the government should lower unemployment benefits to encourage those who have lost jobs to find new ones.

Due to a change in the way unemployed people are counted, Japan’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent in January from a record-high of 5.5 percent in December.

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