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Japan's jobless rate hits 21-year low; household spending falls less than expected

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Given the entire gamble of Abenomics depended on inflation and consumer spending to rise, saying "it didn't fall as much as expected" does not make it any less lipstick on a pig

7 ( +12 / -5 )

Jobless? Hugh percent of people working part time get only few hours of jobs and earning so little.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

smithinjapan.

Given the entire gamble of Abenomics depended on inflation and consumer spending to rise, saying "it didn't fall as much as expected" does not make it any less lipstick on a pig

The figures would actually be much worse, but this July 2016 had 2 extra holiday/weekend days than July 2015.

It's actually quite frightening what the actual statistics would have been without those 2 extra consumer friendly spending days.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Rana SodhiAUG. 30, 2016 - 11:45AM JST Hugh percent of people working part time get only few hours of jobs and earning so little.

Yes, close to 40 percent. That means that the jobs on offer are less well suited to those looking for work than they used to be. The degree of mismatch in the Japanese labour market has risen, and upward pressure on wages is less than the ratio of job openings to applicants might suggest.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Yeah, right!

"Rana Sodhi" said it already. This includes of course all those who work for 600 to 700 Yen an hour.

And I would love to see some other data not prepared by the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Never did and never will trust those people .... eh, I mean numbers!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

the central bank considers as full employment.

So govt writes off 3% unemployed (about 3million?) A cancellation of a worthless asset from a balance sheet?!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Rana Sodhi" said it already. This includes of course all those who work for 600 to 700 Yen an hour.

don't forget, this also includes volunteer work as well. If you are unemployed but volunteer even 1 hour a week, you are right in there with the full time workers and civil servants.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Sadly the numbers do not reflect the facts. Just because someone is employed does not mean that they are living well.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've spoken to a few people working at Uniqlo stores, they say many people get like 1 or 2 shifts a week. I don't have data or anything, but this could be a reason why unemployment rate is still low, because those working 5 hours a week are still considered "employed".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Household spending didn't fall as much as expected....But, it did fall.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If your working part time, how many young people want to get married and start a family in Japan? Most women don't want to get married and start a family with a guy that works part time. It will be permanent poor existance. No wonder the population in Japan will decrease by 20 million in 2050.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Underemployment is a problem in all OECD countries from what I understand, but I don't think it is such a terrible scandal in Japan as it is elsewhere. Just judging from what I see around me, people put their lifestyles together without terrible fear of lacking health care, housing, transportation, and food.

I used to say that the US was a great place even if you did not have much money. That was a long time ago. Now with user fees, various forms or harassment, high rents, etc. That is certainly not true anymore. But look how far Japan has come in the meantime. 100 yen and recycle shops everywhere. Rents have generally come down over the years. Various foods' prices and availability have improved greatly. Transportation has improved. Safety. Stability.

If you had a kid, say 20 years old or so, do you think they would have a better time in Japan's job market, or someplace else? Before everyone just hauls off and says that Silicon Valley is the place to be, just calm down and think about what an average person that age wants and hopes for.

I see the low unemployment as a good sign that people seem to be finding what they want in this market. With patience, a lot of young Japanese people are going to get all the responsibility they can handle real soon now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@5SpeedRacer5

If Japan is to solve its demographic problem, it will have to tackle the labour issue. Japan needs to narrow the gap between over-protected permanent workers and under-protected non-permanent ones. That coddling one section of the workforce does not serve Japan’s interests well. Simply making life less cushy for permanent workers is not likely to do any good on its own. The big push should be on improving the wages and conditions of temporary workers. It should be made far easier for them to migrate to permanent jobs and for workers of all descriptions to move more freely between companies.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah, the jobless rate may very well have fallen, but how many of these newly employed are doing crappy low-paying jobs with no future or benefits and with these new semi-permanent 'fire me on the spot' contracts? The problem is not having a job. The problem is having a job that's worth doing!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

and salaries will go up when???

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If any of us have lived in Japan for quite some time , you must have noticed small restaurants, barber shops, bakeries in every street popped up during last some years. They are run by middle aged people who did'nt find proper jobs. Are they doing good? Answer is no? Most of them doning really bad.I call this hidden unemplyment.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Just judging from what I see around me, people put their lifestyles together without terrible fear of lacking health care, housing, transportation, and food.

You need to look at the bigger picture. That food, housing and transportation is expensive, so much so that people cannot afford to raise families. The high cost of living is the main burden pushing down the population.

And since the population is falling, so is the number of consumers. And as the number of consumers falls, so does consumption, profits, wages, and tax revenue.

Those people you see around you are only doing as well as they are because their government has been borrowing and spending vast sums, which has mainly gone to support domestic industries and the economy. But the cost of this spending is driving up debt, while the falling population is driving down the revenue necessary to repay this debt. In effect, the government is kiting checks, writing a check on an empty account to pay it's bills, and then writing another check on another empty account to cover the first check, and so on.

The prosperity of the people you see around you now comes at the cost of the prosperity of future generations.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Low salary equals future entitlement recipient with no savings or the ability to save.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@5SpeedRacer5

Japanese government debt is 200%+ as a percentage fo the GDP. Maybe young people are finding what they want in Japan. I hope so. But many of them are doing so with their parent's financial help and savings. And one day these young people will be forced to deal with the debt their elders forced upon them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The wages in Japan are stagnating - I don't see much hope! I gave up a future here for international business and that meant financial stability...,,

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Rana Sodhi: "If any of us have lived in Japan for quite some time , you must have noticed small restaurants, barber shops, bakeries in every street popped up during last some years."

Right on. However, I work in a company and it sucks. Would love to work at home or start my own business. As the French say, freedom itself in your time and control of your business has a lot of intrinsic value. Ghosh bless.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

While it is true there are may be flaws in the gathering and disseminating of statistics, as long as they are consistent, i.e., the methodology has not changed, then you are comparing apples with apples and oranges with oranges, so trends, when they are strong enough, are meaningful.

Whether working one hour a month or 10 hours a month or 600 yen per hour as opposed to 2500 yen per hour should be included is different, but since previous measures have used the same measures, they are comparable, and if any trends do become evident, then they really do represent a change in pattern. The use of definitions that are questionable may simply make it harder to estimate how close the country is to full employment and therefore how healthy is the real economy (real for most people, that is).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smoke and mirrors, folks. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-08-30/japans-unemployment-rate-21-year-lows-hidden-problem-revealed

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese household spending fell less than expected in July and the jobless rate hit a two-decade low

Is this correct? If the jobless rate is low, then households should be able to spend more. But that's not the case. It could be the jobless rate figure is incorrect and doesn't reflect the true condition of the job market.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Japanese have demonstrated over the past 100 plus years to be one of the most resourceful,creative and industrious nation and people in the world! They will transform no doubt in my mind or in the economists.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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