Japan's unemployment rate fell to 2.4 percent in January, the lowest in over 24 years, and job availability remained at a four-decade high, government data showed Friday.

The figures suggest companies are facing intensifying competition to secure workers as the economy enjoys its second-longest postwar economic expansion cycle.

Tightness in the job market, however, has yet to fully translate into robust wage growth — a headache for policymakers grappling with pulling the economy out of deflation.