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No.195(2015/9/15)
Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (September 2015)

Japan's economy has been struggling to recover. In the second quarter of 2015 (April-June), gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate of -1.2% due to a drop in private spending and sluggish exports. Economic uncertainties are being fueled by the wild swings in the Chinese and other stock markets around the world.

Industrial Production
Industrial production is fluctuating indecisively. In July industrial production decreased by 0.6% from the previous month, despite the government's forecast of an increase. This decline was due in part to slowing demand overseas amid worries over the Chinese economic slowdown. Year-on-year, however, it marked an increase of 0.2%. The index in July was 97.7 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) electronic parts and devices, (2) transport equipment, and (3) information and communication electronics equipment, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 2.8% in August and decrease by 1.7% in September.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in July
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in July was 280,471 yen, up 0.1% in nominal terms but down 0.2% in real terms year-on-year.

(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 587,156 yen, up 5.7% in nominal terms for the fourth straight month and up 5.4% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 314,788 yen, up 1.0% in nominal terms and up 0.7% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
The employment situation is on a recovery trend.
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in July was 63.81 million, an increase of 240,000, or 0.4%, over the previous year.

(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in July was 2.22 million, a decrease of 260,000, or 8.6%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in July was 3.3%, down 0.1 point from the previous month. The unemployment rate for men dropped 0.1 percentage point to 3.5%, while that for women rose 0.1 point to 3.2%.
By industry, the health care and welfare sectors continued to attract more workers, with 290,000 jobs added in July, up 3.9% year-on-year. The number of workers in the manufacturing and the wholesale and retail sectors fell by 200,000, or 1.9%, and 80,000, or 0.8%, respectively.

(10,000 persons)
  July figures Change from previous year
      (%)
Population aged 15 years or over 11,076 -9 -0.1
Labour force 6,603 -1 0.0
Employed persons 6,381 24 0.4
Employees 5,632 32 0.6
Unemployed persons 222 -26 -10.5
Not in labour force 4,466 -8 -0.2
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.6 0.0
Employment rate (%) 57.6 0.3
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 3.4 -0.4
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 3.3 -0.1

Japan's job availability in July improved to reach the best level in over 23 years, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 1.21. This figure means that there were 121 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in July was 103.7 (2010 = 100), down 0.1 point from the previous month and up 0.2 points over the same month of the previous year.

July 2015
Index Monthly
change (%)
Annual
change (%)
All items 103.7 -0.1 0.2
All items, less fresh food 103.4 0.0 0.0
All items, less food (less alcoholic beverages) and energy 101.2 0.1 0.6
All items, less imputed rent 104.7 -0.1 0.3
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