Japan's job availability in May logged its sharpest monthly drop in over 46 years, while the unemployment rate rose to a three-year high, adding to signs that the labor market is rapidly tightening due to the coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Tuesday.

The job-to-applicant ratio worsened to 1.20 from 1.32 in April, the steepest month-to-month fall since a record 0.20 point drop in January 1974, when the Japanese economy entered a downturn phase in the wake of the global oil crisis, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

With 120 job openings for every 100 job-seekers, the country's latest job availability rate decreased for the fifth straight month to hit its lowest level since July 2015, the labor ministry said.