Japan's unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in 18 years, while job vacancies hit their highest level in 23 years, as improved corporate earnings and wage hikes have helped reinvigorate the job market, the government said Friday.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the ratio of jobs to applicants rose to 1.17 in April, up from 1.15 in March, meaning that in the recording period, there were 117 positions available for 100 people seeking jobs.
The unemployment rate fell to 3.3 percent, its lowest level since April 1997, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said separately in a preliminary report, which also highlighted the fact that on a seasonally-adjusted basis the number of unemployed people fell 0.9 percent in March totaling 2. 19 million and noted that those leaving their lobs of their own volition retreated 1.4 percent to 680,000, in the recording period.
While the jobless rate for women charted an upward trend, rising 0.1 point to 3.2 percent compared to a month earlier in April, that of men fell 0.2 point to 3.4 percent, the statistics bureau also said.
New placements for workers in the recording period were seen to rise in the health and welfare sectors but fall in the postal and transport sectors, the government report showed.