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No.156(2014/4/16)
Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (March 2014)

Labour Force Survey 2013 Yearly Average Results
The size of the labour force in 2013 increased for the first time in six years, rising 0.34% to 65.77 million people. This pushed the labour force participation rate up to 59.3% for the first increase since 1997.
The number of people not in the labour force dropped to 45.06 million; the 0.7% decrease was the steepest in 58 years. Especially notable was the return of housewives to the workforce. The number of women in the labour force rose 1.4% to 28.04 million, the highest level in three years.

(10,000 persons)
  Actual figures Change from 2012
      (%)
Population aged 15 years or over 11,088 –10 –0.1
Labour force 6,577 22 0.3
Employed persons 6,311 41 0.7
Employees 5,553 49 0.9
Unemployed persons 265 –20 –7.0
Not in labour force 4,506 –34 –0.7
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.3 0.2 -
Employment rate (%) 56.9 0.4 -

Industrial Production
Industrial production continues to show upward movement. In February, although industrial production decreased by 2.3% from the previous month, registering a decrease for the first time in three months as heavy snowfall led automakers to halt factory operations, it was up 6.9% year-on-year. The index in February was 101.5 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) transport equipment, (2) general-purpose, production, and business-oriented machinery, and (3) information and electronics equipment, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) large passenger cars, (2) drive, transmission, and control parts, and (3) engines for motor vehicles, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 0.9% in March and decrease by 0.6% in April.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in February
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in February was 266,610 yen, down 0.6% in nominal terms and down 2.5% in real terms year-on-year.
(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 479,268 yen, up 0.6% in nominal terms and down 1.3% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 294,509 yen, down 1.4% in nominal terms and down 3.2% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in February was 62.83 million, an increase of 410,000, or 0.7%, over the same month in the previous year.
(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in February was 2.32 million, a decrease of 450,000, or 16.2%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.6%, maintaining the lowest level for six years for the third consecutive month. The figure is the lowest since July 2007, before the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in September 2008 triggered a global financial crisis.

(10,000 persons)
  February figures Change from previous year
      (%)
Population aged 15 years or over 11,079 –7 -0.1
Labour force 6,516 –3 0.0
Employed persons 6,283 41 0.7
Employees 5,544 29 0.5
Unemployed persons 232 –45 –16.2
Not in labour force 4,578 –3 -0.1
Labour force participation rate (%) 58.8 0.4 -
Employment rate (%) 56.7 0.4 -
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 3.6 –0.6 -
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 3.6 –0.1 -

According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare, job availability in February improved 0.01 points over the previous month, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 1.05. This figure means that there were 105 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in February was 100.7 (2010 = 100), the same level as the previous month and up 1.5% over the same month of the previous year.

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