Japan's jobless rate edges up to 3.4% in August


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remember that Japan counts the part time jobs- even if its only once or twice a week as being employed. If you were to take the number of people employed even semi full time, the stats would be closer to Europe. I've even heard (but don't know for sure) that people just doing volunteer work are also counted as employed.

My point is the number is not 3.4 percent. You don't get deflation in an economy with such a high percentage of labor participation.

The disappointing Tankan survey supplied the latest evidence that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s growth blitz, dubbed Abenomics, was faltering

The LATEST evidence?? We've been saying that all along. Noriko Hama refers to it as Ahonomics. She's right.

speculation grows that the Bank of Japan would have to expand its massive asset-buying plan later this year.

Einstein said that the very definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

In that case, both the Abe government and the BOJ should be put in straight jackets.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

@Aly Rostum

Great points, especially about the part time jobs issue. A 3.3% jobless rate sure is impressive & should see a generally content population with solid economic growth to back that up (on paper). Yet, what we have is a disenfranchised & disorientated public, a debt-ridden government in disarray, 40%+ of the workforce consisting of part-time positions (and increasing day by day), and the double-whammy of stagflation & falling salaries. Being the Japanese media, no one will cut this to shreds or even put forward their critique, of course.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

AFP should fix their article. Abenomics was a monetary blitz, not a growth blitz.

Abe can't create growth, he can only create conditions to encourage growth, and by-and-large he has for whatever reason not done so, contrary to positive expectations when Abenomics, including the 3rd arrow reform concept was first announced.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Take away all the old blokes with glow sticks, and the number would be at least double.

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How many in this percent prefer government assistance to work because they earn more money on it than off it, have not looked for work or never will look for work, and, therefore, are not counted as unemployed, or were registered for unemployement and now are no longer alive or out of the country? The USA and many other countries would be very happy with the Japanese number for unemployment. What is countable and non countable? The first rule in the statistics class is: "Figures lie and liars figure."

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I'm glad to see how many posters here are analyzing and challenging statistics like the ones found in this report for/by themselves. Keep up the skepticism of statistics: it definitely needs to be done!

If one can't find a job and their unemployment benefits run out, they are no longer counted as "unemployed" in many countries (I'm not sure about the situation in Japan). This is certainly a distortion of the real situation.

And though most other countries would kill for a "3.4%" unemployment average of any kind, the surprisingly low figure should of course be taken with a grain of salt (especially since the "Tankan" survey originates from Abe's favorite source of economic cheerleading: his puppet Bank of Japan!)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

State of the economy to think most of the Japanese is good, are based on the bubble economy. Japanese feel that economy is not good when economy is a good level commonly. It is the illness that Japanese have been used to luxuriously.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A separate survey showed that there were 123 job offers for every 100 job hunters in August, or a ratio of 1.23, the highest such figure in 23 years.

And this is where they manage to fiddle the facts. These so-called 'job offers' could be anything from a glow-stick operator to a dunny cleaner offering pittance wages and, no doubt, they'd be temp jobs with no security because Abe changed the laws requiring employers to offer full time employment. These statistics for unemployment are just total malarkey and are nowhere near the true percentage of unemployed. If they are going to spout these statistics, they should include the number of employed people surviving on salaries they are less then the poverty line and the number of NEET parasites sponging off their parents. These statistics only include those actively looking for work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For all these that try to pick apart the numbers because of this or that, the part you are missing is that while there may be issues such as described, as long as the method of reporting is consistent from year to year, it allows for tracking of change, to see if/when things are getting better or worse.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

For a job in japan to be counted as a JOB, the employee income has to be above JPY 2000000 a year... when the employee reach this level of income (in a single contract of course, not multiple part time jobs) the employer has to register the employee in the Labor Security and Retirement service... once done that the job is counted as a job.

Waving a glow stick or being a "dunny" cleaner...what is wrong with that? is a job, or your classification of job is sitting on a office, in front of a PC, suited or anything around that?

Then why the almost none existent economical growth?, cost of life, and a still strong consumption society. Unfortunately for people in the real world (not most of people commenting here, so it seems) having a job with a so-so income is not enough because the cost of life. This is true in Japan, and unfortunately is true in most countries around the world.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think much has to do with the area in Japan. When I lived in Nagoya the department stores were full open to close with older and young women buying and buying large. Noticed the same in Tokyo and Osaka. These areas seem to have not much of a problem attracting employment with the big companies like Toyota, Panasonic, Inax, Kubota, and so forth.

Here in Miyazaki the big department stores on Tachibana Dori have been turned into Uniqlo, Daiei, and other lower end shops. The Matsuzakaya, Maruei, and Mitsukoshi just couldn't hold on because women would go in window shop and not buy. This is how I personally judge an economy locally. Jobs in Miyazaki are by and large short term contract or part time (I mean less than even 30 hours a week). Most jobs in Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo seem to be full time and offer a path to long term career formation.

How many folk are shopping in and supporting the big name department stores. In Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo there is no problem, but go out into the outer areas like Kasugai, Yodogawa, and Chiba and it is really different.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is grim news, especially considering that average wages are so abhorrently low now even in Tokyo - full timers are starting off on sometimes less than 20k.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Better than not have many part in the world.

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The good news about such low unemployment is that just about anyone who wants a job can get one. Bad news is how cheap Japanese employers are. Low wages and unstable employment are a reality for many in Japan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The usual truckload of salt for this isolated datapoint.

The labor force participation rate is below 60%. How many of these non-participants want to work, but not in a McJob, thank you very much?

Couple this to an average monthly wage hovering around 30man (including, let's remember, all those AMG driving patrons who keep the Ginza and Omotesando boutiques in business), and you can imagine just how tough many actually have it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hello Work only registers for 3 months, after that, you disappear off the statistics. Also no address, no services.

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i agree that even the glow stick/hole guards working is better than being full time unemployed. gives dignity and something to do. also i was under the impression that part time or menial workers are also counted in the US and some European countries? Fact is that the high labour participation rate in Japan is one of the things it has consistently done better in than US/EU .

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Different countries measure the unemployment rate in different ways. What's more important is the trend where the rate is going using whatever measurement is being used.

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Japan, the lowest minimum wage out of all the OECD countries surveyed recently. People overseas have the impression that life in Japan is wonderful. Only for the wealthy. The peasants will have to try and survive on their cup noodles and live in a crappy one bedroom apartment which they can still barely afford on the miserable wages in their part time job.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan, the lowest minimum wage out of all the OECD countries surveyed recently.

Looks like the middle of the pack to me.

Not a good thing, but there's no need to make things up.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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