Japan Govt Subsidies Curbed Jobless Rate Rise by 2.6 Points

Economy Politics

Tokyo, July 16 (Jiji Press)--Employment adjustment subsidies and other job measures taken by the Japanese government to tackle the coronavirus fallout curbed a rise in the nation's jobless rate by about 2.6 percentage points on average in April-October 2020, the labor ministry said Friday.

Thanks to the measures, the average jobless rate was relatively low, at 2.9 pct, in the seven months, the ministry said in the 2021 white paper on labor economy, released the same day.

The report stressed the effect of the job measures, while noting that the government is running out of funds for the subsidies due to growth in payments and is therefore needs to address the issue of how to bear the burden.

Employment adjustment subsidies are provided to businesses that put workers on paid leave. To tackle the coronavirus crisis, the daily limit on the subsidies has been raised to 15,000 yen per worker. In the peak month, the government decided to give out 570 billion yen.

Last year, the employment situation worsened, especially among the accommodation and restaurant industries, as the coronavirus crisis hampered economic activities. The jobless rate, which had been under 2.5 pct before the outbreak of the epidemic, rose to as high as 3.1 pct in October last year although the level was lower than 5.5 pct in July 2009, after the September 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

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