Single mothers and women with less secure jobs in Japan have seen their employment opportunities upended as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.

For many of them, maintaining their income levels while attending to their children's needs as stay-at-home moms or women living alone is proving a formidable task.

Based on a labor market survey by the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry in April, the employed population of women dropped by 530,000 from the same month the previous year to 29.3 million — the first such downward shift in over eight years.