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Some 520,000 unemployed people between the ages of 15 and 34 were not trying to find work or receive higher educational training during 2003, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry warned in a white paper released Friday that such people are a “worrisome problem” from the standpoint of the maintenance of social order and the state of the economy.

The white paper on the workforce and economy also carried the results of a survey of the capabilities and qualifications deemed necessary to obtain jobs.

It recommends that such people work to nurture their ability to communicate with others, enhance basic learning, get professional qualifications and strengthen their sense of responsibility.

According to the report, 2.17 million people aged between 15 and 34 were getting by on part-time jobs in 2003, up 3.8 percent from a year earlier.

“It is crucial for all quarters of the Japanese populace to sharpen their awareness of the issue so that the youth may obtain a stronger will and abilities,” the report says.

The overall unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in July. The jobless rate for people in the 15-24 age bracket was 9.4 percent, and 6.1 percent for those aged between 25 and 34.

Unemployed youth aged between 15 and 34 not trying to find jobs or receive education are not included in these statistics; such people are not counted because they are not actively seeking work.

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