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The March 11 earthquake-tsunami catastrophe will probably result in the loss of 81,500 jobs in the coastal areas of the three hardest-hit prefectures over the next six years, a research institute said Friday.

Employment at businesses in the coastal areas of Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures is projected to dive to 691,800 workers from the predisaster 773,300 during the period, according to Nomura Research Institute, the research arm of Nomura Holdings Inc.

The estimate, which covers 38 municipalities in the three prefectures, is based on the assumption that the disaster will have the same impact on the employment situation as the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake did, the institute said.

But the calculation has not taken into account the effects of the quake and tsunami on jobs in the farm and fisheries sectors that had been thriving in the coastal areas until the disaster devastated cropland and ports, it noted.

In addition, the estimate has not factored in the effects of the disaster-triggered crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

The Great East Japan Earthquake is thus likely to result in greater unemployment than the estimate.

The research institute found in its survey that jobs in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail sectors were particularly hard-hit.

An institute official said the government “needs to take comprehensive steps to create jobs, including those for the farm, forestry and fisheries industries.”

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