• Kyodo

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Japan’s unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent in June, the lowest level in nearly 21 years, government data showed Friday, highlighting companies’ willingness to hire more people in a tight labor market.

The improvement in three months came as separate data showed the country’s job availability improved to 1.37 in June, the best level since August 1991. The ratio means that 137 positions were available for every 100 job seekers.

“The employment situation remains on an improving trend,” a government official told a press briefing as the jobless rate logged the lowest figure since July 1995.

The unemployment rate for men fell 0.2 percentage points to 3.2 percent, while that for women rose 0.1 point to 3.0 percent.

The number of unemployed people increased a seasonally adjusted 1.9 percent to 2.08 million. The number of workers increased 470,000 to 64.56 million.

The number of people leaving jobs voluntarily stood at a seasonally adjusted 880,000.

The health care and welfare industry added more jobs than a year ago, while the construction industry saw a decline.

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