TOKYO – Japan’s unemployment rate remained at 2.8 percent in September, the same as in the previous three months, whereas industrial production fell 1.1 percent in September compared to the previous month, according to data released on Tuesday by the government.
The drop in industrial production came after a 2 percent increase in August, according to the data reviewed and published by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
In relation to the same month of 2016, Japanese industrial production increased by 2.5 percent.
Among the industries whose production showed the most marked advances in September were electronic components and appliances, general equipment and processed metals.
Sectors that experienced the most significant setbacks were chemical products, petroleum and coal products and non-ferrous metals.
Industrial production is expected to increase by 4.7 percent in October and drop by 0.9 percent in November, according to data from a survey conducted by the ministry among Japanese companies.
According to data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of unemployed people in Japan in September stood at 1.9 million, which was about 140,000 people or 6.9 percent less than in the same month of 2016.
The number of employed Japanese rose to 65.96 million, 740,000 people or 1.1 percent higher than in September 2016.
Labor supply in relation to demand remained at record levels, confirming the persistent rigidity of the Japanese labor market, a factor that experts considered as a potential impediment to the growth of the world’s third biggest economy, which also has the oldest population in the world.
In September, 152 jobs were on offer for every 100 job seekers, the same figure as the previous month and the highest rate since February 1974, according to government data.
The government also published on Tuesday the household expenditure data, which decreased again in September despite salary increases and the government’s efforts to revitalize domestic consumption, a fundamental pillar of the Japanese economy.
Each Japanese household with two or more residents spent on average 268,802 yen ($2,375), 0.3 percent less in real terms than the same month of 2016.
On the other hand, the average income per salaried household rose 2.1 percent year-on-year in September to 437,497 yen.