Japan Job-Openings Ratio Logs 1st Rise in 4 Years in 2022

REUTERS file photo
Workers install a battery for a new electric vehicle model at Mitsubishi Motor Corp’s factory in Kurashiki, Japan May 19, 2022.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The average ratio of effective job openings to seekers in Japan rose for the first time in four years in 2022, reflecting a recovery in economic activities from a slump caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, government data showed Tuesday.

The ratio, which represents the number of jobs available to each applicant at Hello Work job placement offices across the country, rose 0.15 point from 2021 to 1.28 on average, the labor ministry said. Still, the 2022 figure was below 1.60 for 2019, before the coronavirus crisis.

Separately, the internal affairs ministry said that Japan’s jobless rate in 2022 fell 0.2 percentage point to 2.6% on average, down for the first time in four years.

The number of effective job openings grew 12.7% to 2,474,041, according to the labor ministry data. Companies, mainly those in the hotel and restaurant industries, moved to secure workers in line with the easing of COVID-19-linked movement restrictions.

Effective job seekers decreased 0.7% to 1,935,780, apparently reflecting a drop in dismissals thanks to the economic recovery.

The number of jobless people fell by 160,000, the internal affairs ministry data showed. This is attributable to the reopening of economic activities, an official of the ministry said.

In December alone, the seasonally adjusted effective job openings-to-seekers ratio stood at 1.35, unchanged from the prior month. The jobless rate came to 2.5% after seasonal adjustment, also unchanged from November.