Japan’s unemployment rate climbed to an all-time high of 5.7 percent for July, 0.3 percentage point higher than for June and topping the former record high of 5.5 percent in April 2003. The fact that Japan’s unemployment rate remains the lowest among the Group of Seven industrialized countries is small comfort.

It is estimated that there are up to 6.07 million surplus workers for all industries, slightly less than 10 percent of the nation’s employed workforce. If companies become unable to keep these workers on the payroll, the unemployment rate will shoot up further. The new administration faces a difficult task.

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