An employee works on the automobile assembly line at the Kawasaki factory of Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. Photo: REUTERS file
business

Japan factory output slumps; jobless rate rises to 2.9%

15 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto

Japan’s industrial output fell for a fourth straight month in May to the lowest level since the global financial crisis, highlighting the widespread impact of the coronavirus on factory and overall business and consumer activity.

The world’s third-largest economy is bracing for its worst postwar recession, hurt by coronavirus lockdown measures at home and overseas that have upended supply chains, kept businesses shut and depressed consumer spending.

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry data out on Tuesday showed that factory output fell 8.4% month-on-month in May to 79.1, a level not seen since March 2009 when the financial crisis sapped global demand.

The slump followed a 9.8% decline in the previous month, and was much bigger than the median market forecast of a 5.6% drop in a Reuters poll of economists.

Manufacturers surveyed by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) expect output to rise 5.7% in June and 9.2% in July, the data showed.

The government left its assessment of industrial production unchanged to say it was “lowering sharply”, the bleakest official view since the global financial crisis in late 2008.

Japan’s economy shrank an annualised 2.2% in January-March, slipping into recession for the first time in 4-1/2 years, and analysts expect the health crisis to have driven a deeper slump in the current quarter.

Meanwhile, the nation's jobless rate rose and the availability of jobs fell in Ma.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.9% in May, up from 2.6% in April, figures from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed. The median forecast was 2.8%.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio fell to 1.20 in May from 1.32 in April, marking the lowest reading since July 2015, labour ministry data showed.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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2.9%? While that’s not good for Japanese standards, it’s fantastic by US standards, I can tell you that much. God, I can’t wait to be able to move to Japan

Oh the innocence .....if Japan counted its unemployed like other advanced countries do instead of using its " unique standards the rate would stand much different ( as most posters on here would attest to )

12 ( +14 / -2 )

It's only gonna get worse from now on. Furloughing at major corpos too. [mine at least]

Yet, many many people still didnt get their Abe pocket money, including myself.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Japan has done better then most countries

One tends to do well statistically when testing a fraction of what others do.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Worst is to follow soon.

I get no application for 100.000 yen yet...wondering how many others same position as me,dont need t mention people who have lost jobs and own businesses....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan will be among the top countries to come out of this Covid-19 Recession that's my prediction.

Yea, it did well coming out when the bubble burst in the early 90s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

2.9% jobless rate in a country with labour shortage ...

I guess the problem is not that there are no Jobs but like in most first world countries the people are to "good" to do some jobs

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's generally not that people are too "good" for some jobs, other than a percentage of agricultural jobs (as it the case in most develped countries), it's that it will take some time to shift workers who lost jobs in one place to shift to combo company.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Did well coming out of the economic stagnation that followed after the bubble burst in the early 90s

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am a chef, 27 years of experience, from 6 years living in Japan. Because of the corona i lost my job too, so I started search very hard and, after 60 applications, I could find a job, but 30% more cheap than before. Hard times are coming, but we need to fight and overcome this bad moment

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Matej

Worst is to follow soon.

I get no application for 100.000 yen yet...wondering how many others same position as me, dont need to mention people who have lost jobs and own businesses....

Phone your city office.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has done better then most countries. I believe the recovery will take some time, another Coronavirus wave is possible which would slow things down.

Japan will be among the top countries to come out of this Covid-19 Recession that's my prediction.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That’s what happens when you shut down the world to protect about 5 percent in identified weak groups. I personally would have done it a little different. We all know this has become overly politicized, and the reaction will cause 100 times over, far greater damage than the nasty little pneumonia virus.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Whilst nothing concrete has materialized as of yet, It would pretty easy to see this as possibly China’s willful doing, merely on how it’s smashed the countries and economies of every one of its rivals, of course China too, yet she remains in the driving seat with possibly still one percent growth this year. Genius.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

hurt by coronavirus lockdown measures at home and overseas that have upended supply chains, kept businesses shut and depressed consumer spending.

And the Ironie of that thing is, that all these lockdowns didn't help anything to make the Virus situation better or let the virus disappear.

The only outcome of these Lockdowns is that millions of people lost their jobs, are frustrated, angry and the economies are broken.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

2.9%? While that’s not good for Japanese standards, it’s fantastic by US standards, I can tell you that much. God, I can’t wait to be able to move to Japan! I know I said this quite a bit, and not to belabor the point, but I really can’t wait for it.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

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