Japan job availability down to 1.29 in FY 2023, 1st fall in 3 yrs

Photo: Kyodo

Japan's job availability ratio for fiscal 2023 fell 0.02 point to 1.29 from the previous year, marking its first decline in three years, government data showed Tuesday, as companies reduced their recruiting practices amid pressure from rising materials costs, Kyodo reports. 

For March, the job availability ratio was up 0.02 point from February to 1.28, meaning there were 128 jobs available for every 100 job seekers, figures from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare showed.

The monthly rise was attributed to fewer people looking for new jobs as they anticipate pay rises in their current positions. Major firms awarded their highest salary increases in 33 years during the latest "shunto" spring wage negotiations this year.

The electricity, gas and water supply sector offered more jobs, with new openings up 8.1 percent from March last year, and finance and insurance businesses saw a rise of 6.5 percent.

Sectors with fewer newly available jobs included the manufacturing sector, down 10.8 percent, while the lifestyle and entertainment services sector and the education sector both shrank 10.5 percent.

Separate data showed the country's unemployment rate for fiscal 2023 was unchanged from a year prior at 2.6 percent. An official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said fewer people were leaving work involuntarily while at the same time a greater number quit their jobs for better opportunities due to a shortage of available workers.

An average of 1.78 million people were unemployed in the year ended in March, of whom 1.03 million were men, down 30,000 from the previous fiscal year, while women logged an average of 750,000, up by 30,000, the official said.

The number of women in employment jumped by 270,000 to 30.59 million, the highest total since comparable data became available in 1953, according to the ministry.

"There are numerous reasons people are deciding to enter work, and informing that mindset is likely to be factors such as economic difficulties and also rising pay packets," the official said.

The unemployment rate for March was unchanged from the previous month at 2.6 percent, with the number of unemployed standing at a seasonally adjusted 1.82 million people.

Among people leaving work, 790,000 people voluntarily left their jobs, up 2.6 percent from February, and 460,000 people involuntarily, up 4.5 percent.

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