Jobless Rate Rises to 2.6% in February

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February rose 0.2 percentage points from the previous month to 2.6%, the first increase in five months, the internal affairs ministry said Friday.

The trend of changing jobs is believed to be spreading, reflecting the subsiding COVID-19 situation and expectations for higher salaries.

The number of jobless people increased by 130,000 to 1.8 million. The number of people who left their jobs voluntarily and that of those who newly began to seek jobs increased by 80,000 and 30,000, respectively.

People with jobs totaled 67.14 million, down by 300,000.

Separately, the labor ministry said the ratio of effective job openings to job seekers in February fell 0.01 point from the previous month to 1.34, down for two months in a row. The ratio represents the number of jobs available to each seeker registered with Hello Work public job placement centers across the country.

The number of effective job applicants grew 1.6%, outpacing the increase of 0.8% in effective job openings.