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The government’s fiscal 2009 white paper on the economy has drawn a gloomy picture with regard to the employment situation, although the report does credit the government’s four economic stimulus measures for starting to exert a positive effect.

The Japanese economy has deteriorated at unprecedented speed since the onset of the U.S. financial crisis in the fall of 2008. The white paper notes that the number of excess workers at Japanese enterprises is estimated to have risen to a maximum 6.07 million in the January-March period of 2009, the highest level since 1980. Of these excess workers, up to 3.69 million are believed to have been in the manufacturing sector, up from about 60,000 a year before.

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