Japan Jobless Rate Falls to 2.7 Pct in Feb.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 2.7% in February from the previous month after seasonal adjustment as the number of jobless people declined, the internal affairs ministry said Tuesday.

Still, the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant of the coronavirus is negatively affecting the job market. Many people refrained from finding jobs and the number of workers on leave remained at a high level.

The number of jobless people decreased by 30,000 to 1.88 million. The number of people who newly sought jobs fell by 40,000. The number of people with jobs stood at 66.93 million.

The unadjusted number of workers on leave rose by 120,000 to 2.42 million, close to 2.49 million in January, when omicron cases were surging.

The labor ministry separately said the seasonally adjusted ratio of effective job openings to seekers in February rose 0.01 points from the previous month to 1.21, gaining for the second straight month.

The number of effective job seekers fell 1.4% to 1.92 million, while that of effective job openings dropped 0.2% to 2.45 million. The number of new job openings, a leading economic indicator, declined 4.8%.

“There have been moves to refrain from finding and offering jobs amid the spread of the omicron variant,” a labor ministry official said.