Job Availability Ratio Slips to 1.30

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted ratio of effective job openings to seekers in June fell 0.01 points from the previous month to 1.30, down for the second consecutive month, the labor ministry said Tuesday.

The decline reflected an increase in people seeking employment to maintain their standards of living, as inflation weighs on household finances, ministry officials said.

The ratio represents the number of job openings available to each seeker registered with Hello Work public job placement centers across the country.

The number of effective job seekers increased 0.6% as middle-aged people, struggling with inflation, increasingly looked for work, especially part-time jobs.

Job seekers aged 65 and older said they wanted to work as much as possible as it was hard to live with just pension benefits, according to the ministry.

The number of effective job openings was nearly flat. Some construction firms and manufacturers reduced hiring amid rising labor and other costs, while some restaurant operators opened jobs after reducing staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The internal affairs ministry separately said that the country’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June fell 0.1 points from the month before to 2.5%.

The number of jobless people decreased by 40,000 to 1.73 million after seasonal adjustment apparently due to a labor shortage.