Japan’s average unemployment rate stood at 4.3% in July, unchanged from June as job cuts eased and more people entered the labor market looking for work, while payrolls continued to slump from year-earlier levels, data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed Friday.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for July came in line with the median forecast for 4.3% in a survey of economists by MNI.
The 4.3% unemployment rate in July and June was the lowest since 4.2% recorded in September 2011.
In July, the number of payroll jobs fell by 30,000 from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 62.69 million, marking the first month-on-month drop in two months, following +270,000 in June.
The adjusted number of unemployed rose by 10,000 (+0.4%) to 2.82 million in July, compared with -80,000 (-2.8%) at 2.81 million in June.
Looking at the longer-term trend, the unadjusted number of employed people fell 90,000 on year to 62.27 million in July, posting the eighth straight year-on-year drop. The pace of decline accelerated from -60,000 in June.
The workforces fell in wholesale and retail trade and transport and postal services as well as farming, offsetting large gains in medical, health care and welfare.
Meanwhile, the unadjusted number of jobless workers fell 240,000 on year to 2.88 million in July, after falling 260,000 in June. It was a 26th consecutive drop.
The data also showed that the number of those who lost their jobs continued to fall from year-earlier levels in July while the number of people who quit their jobs voluntarily to look for other openings fell for the second straight month.
Effective with September 2011 data, the government resumed releasing the national average unemployment rate based on figures from all the 47 prefectures, including earthquake-hit areas that were previously excluded from the data.
The government compiled employment and unemployment data from March to August 2011 without records from the Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, the hardest hit by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the northeastern Pacific coast.