The number of foreign workers in Japan has surpassed 2 million for the first time, reaching a record high, as the nation grapples with a worsening labor shortage.

The labor ministry announced Friday that, as of the end of October, there were 2,048,675 foreign workers in the nation, an increase of 225,950 from a year before. The report also showed an increase in the number of technical trainees, a figure that had decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of workplaces employing foreign workers increased to 318,775, up 19,985 from the previous year and also a record high.