Japan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in August dropped 0.1 percentage point from the previous month to 4.8 percent, partly due to a sizable decrease in the number of jobless males, the government said Friday.

The number of jobless people stood at 3.14 million in the reporting month, down 190,000 from a year earlier, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said in a preliminary report.

The jobless rate for men was 4.9 percent, down 0.4 point from July, and that for women was 4.6 percent, up 0.2 point. The number of jobholders increased by 340,000 to 63.95 million.

The ministry left its assessment of employment conditions unchanged, with a ministry official stating that the employment situation in general is improving.

But he warned against excessive optimism, noting that the jobless rate for the reporting month was higher than the 4.6 percent registered in both May and June.

The number of people forced out of their jobs stood at 800,000, down 170,000 from a year earlier. In contrast, the number of people who quit of their own accord rose by 20,000 to 1.12 million, reflecting an increase in the number of people who quit in search of better jobs.

By age, the jobless rate for men declined in almost all age brackets. The only exception was the rate for men aged between 25 and 34, which climbed 0.5 point from a year before to 6.0 percent.

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