Jobless Rate Falls to 2.6% in Sept.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The cityscape of Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate in September fell 0.1 percentage point from the previous month to 2.6%, reflecting serious labor shortages, the internal affairs ministry said Tuesday.

The rate dropped for the first time in three months. The number of jobless people decreased by 80,000 from August to 1.77 million.

The number of workers who were forced to quit due to circumstances on the part of employers declined, while many people were apparently able to find new jobs with better work conditions after leaving their previous jobs.

The labor ministry said the same day that the seasonally adjusted ratio of effective job openings to job seekers in September was flat from the previous month at 1.29, with both job seekers and openings decreasing slightly. The job availability ratio stood at the level for the third consecutive month.

Job seekers decreased 0.1%. Some workers refrained from changing jobs as employers tried to prevent employees from quitting by offering better conditions, such as wage hikes, according to the ministry.

Job openings dropped slightly. Some construction companies and manufacturers stopped short of seeking new employees although they continued to face labor shortages, because higher costs reflecting rising prices weighed on their earnings.