Japan’s Job Availability Ratio Rises for 2nd Straight Year

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The cityscape of Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press)—The average ratio of effective job openings to seekers in Japan rose for the second straight year in 2023 as demand for labor grew following the removal of COVID-19 restrictions and amid serious workforce shortages, government data showed Tuesday.

The ratio, which represents the number of jobs available to each applicant at public job placement offices across the country, rose 0.03 points from the previous year to 1.31, the labor ministry said.

Separately, the internal affairs ministry said that the country’s average jobless rate was 2.6% in 2023, unchanged from the previous year.

The monthly number of effective job openings grew 0.9% on average. Companies in the hotel and restaurant industries hired more workers, while some businesses, struggling with soaring prices, curbed hiring.

The monthly number of effective job seekers declined 1.4% as the number of people looking for new jobs while working fell amid expectations for better pay.

The number of jobless people who left their jobs for reasons on the employer’s side fell, while that of those quitting their jobs for personal reasons rose.

In December alone, the seasonally adjusted effective job openings-to-seekers ratio fell 0.01 points from the previous month to 1.27. The jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 2.4% after seasonal adjustment.