Tuesday, June 30, 2009

(MY023) Japanese unemployment hits five-year high

TOKYO (AFP) – Japan's unemployment rate rose to its highest level in more than five years as companies slashed jobs to cope with the worst post-war recession in the world's second largest economy, data has shown.
On a brighter note, consumer spending rose for the first time in 16 months, supported by the government's economic stimulus efforts.
The jobless rate climbed to 5.2 percent in May -- a level last seen in September 2003 -- up from 5.0 in April, the internal affairs ministry said.
While hopes are mounting that Japan's economy has come through the worst of its export and production slump, there are concerns that unemployment may rise further as companies seek to recover from heavy financial losses.
The jobless rate, which was slightly worse than expected, is close to a post-World War II high of 5.5 percent, which was last seen in April 2003.
The number of people in unemployment rose by 770,000, or 28.5 percent, from a year earlier to 3.47 million.

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