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The coronavirus pandemic has led to about 20,536 cases of dismissals and terminations of employment contracts in the nation’s manufacturing industry as of Friday, a tally by the labor ministry has shown.

The figure, which represented an increase of 859 from a week before, was the highest among all sectors in the country, according to the tally released on Tuesday. No other sector has seen the cumulative total surpass 20,000.

The overall number of people who were fired or whose contracts were not renewed because of the pandemic in all sectors in Japan rose by 3,169 to 93,354, marking the largest weekly increase since mid-September last year amid growing uncertainties over the country’s job situation.

The impact of the pandemic on employment is also serious in the travel and accommodation industries, reflecting a nationwide halt to the government’s Go To Travel subsidy program aimed at promoting tourism.

The cumulative number of dismissals related to the pandemic went up by 763 in the travel sector and by 513 in the accommodation sector.

Since COVID-19 started to spread in Japan in February last year, the ministry has been keeping a tally of job dismissals with the help of prefectural labor authorities and HelloWork public job placement offices across the nation.

As the ministry is unable to accurately account for all dismissal cases, however, the reality is believed to be worse that what the official figures show.

The tally includes those who got different jobs after being dismissed.

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