Activity reports E-mail magazine

“Economic and Labour Situation in Japan, February 2023 Labour Force Survey 2022 Yearly Average Results”


The average number of employed persons in 2022 was 67.23 million, an increase of 100,000 over the previous year. While the number of regular employees increased 10,000, the number of non-regular employees increased 260,000 over the previous year. The employment rate was 60.9%, up 0.5 points, and the labour force participation rate was 62.5%, up 0.4 points over the previous year. The average number of unemployed persons was 1.79 million, down 160,000 from the previous year. The average unemployment rate was 2.6%, down 0.2 points from the previous year for the first time in four years. In 2019, the jobless rate stood at 2.4 percent, but it worsened to 2.8 percent in 2020 and 2021.
In 2022, the job availability ratio was 1.28, up 0.15 points over the previous year after a 0.05 point drop in 2021 according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. This means there were 128 job openings for every 100 job seekers.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results1

(1) Employment

The number of employed persons in December 2022 was 67.16 million, an increase of 100,000 over the same month the previous year. By gender, this included 36.91 million men, down 150,000, and 30.25 million women, up 250,000 from the previous year, respectively.

(2) Unemployment

The number of unemployed persons in December 2022 was 1.58 million, a decrease of 150,000 from the same month in the previous year, for the fifteenth straight monthly decline. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in December was 2.5%, unchanged from the previous month. The unemployment rate for men was 2.7%, down 0.1 from the previous month, and 2.2% for women, unchanged from the previous month.

Units: 10,000 persons
Change from
previous year

Population aged fifteen and over 11,032 -39 -0.4
Labour force 6,875 -4 0.1
Employed persons 6,716 10 0.1
Employees 6,055 2639 0.4
Unemployed persons 158 -15 -8.7
Not in labour force 4,150 -34 -0.8
Labour force participation rate (%) 62.3 0.4
Employment rate (%) 60.9 0.5
Unemployment rate, original series(%) 2.3 -0.2
Current month Change from
previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted(%) 2.5 0.0

(3) Job Availability

Japan’s job availability in December stood at 1.35, unchanged from the previous month, meaning there were 135 job openings for every 100 job seekers. The ratio of regular employee job offers to applicants was 1.03, down 0.01 points from the previous month. The ratio of new job offers to applicants, a leading indicator for the labour market, was 2.39, down 0.03 from the previous month. Among the industries, the lifestyle and entertainment sectors saw the sharpest rise in job offers at 18.5%, followed by the accommodation and restaurant services at 6.9%, both from a year earlier.

Industrial Production 2

In 2022, Japan’s industrial output fell 0.1% from the previous year, the first decline in two years, reflecting weakening overseas demand affected by tighter monetary policy in response to higher inflation.
In December alone, industrial output decreased 1% from the previous month, for the fourth straight month of decline. While production, shipments, and inventories decreased, inventory ratio increased.
The industries that mainly contributed to the decrease were as follows: (1) general-purpose and business-oriented machinery; (2) iron, steel, and non-ferrous metals; and (3) electrical machinery and information and communication electronics equipment, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecasts in Manufacturing, production was expected to not increase in January but to increase by 4.1% in February.

December 2022 2015 average = 100
Seasonally adjusted index Original index
Index Change from previous month (%) Index Change from previous year (%)
Production 95.4 -0.1 97.2 -2.8
Shipments 92.7 -0.7 96.8 -3.0
Inventories 103.1 0.5 100.9 3.2
Inventory ratio 124.5 1.2 118.7 9.8

Family Income and Expenditure Survey 3

(1) Expenditure of Households of Two Persons or More

Average monthly consumption expenditure of households of two or more persons in December was 328,114 yen, up 3.4% in nominal terms but down 1.3% in real terms from the previous year, marking the second consecutive month of decline. By component, spending on fuel, lighting, and water utility charges rose 15.9% and furniture & household utensils rose 13.5%, but housing dropped 9.9% in nominal terms from a year earlier.

(2) Income and Expenditures for Workers’ Households

Average monthly income per household stood at 1,150,808 yen (including bonus payments), up 4.4% in nominal terms but down 0.4% in real terms from the previous year. The average level of consumption expenditure was 353,794 yen per month, up 2.8% in nominal terms but down 1.9% in real terms year-on-year.

Consumer Prices 4
Consumer prices rise 4.0%, highest since 1981

The consumer price index (CPI) in December was 104.1 (2020 = 100), up 4.0% over the previous year and up 0.2% over the previous month, driven by higher commodity prices and a weak yen. Core inflation (CPI less food and energy) was up 3.0% over the previous year, marking the ninth straight month of increase. Energy prices surged 15.2% from a year earlier. City gas and electricity bills saw marked gains of 23.3% and 21.3%, respectively. Food prices, excluding fresh food items, rose 7.4%, marking the sharpest rise since February 1981.

December 2022

Index Annual
change (%)
change (%)
(seasonally adjusted)
All items 104.1 4.0 0.2
All items, less fresh food 104.1 4.0 0.2
All items, less fresh food and energy 102.1 3.0 0.1
  1. Source: Labour Force Survey Monthly Results (Statistics Bureau of Japan)
  2. Source: Indices of Industrial Production (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)
  3. Source: Summary of the Latest Month on Family Income and Expenditure Survey (Statistics Bureau of Japan)
  4. Source: Consumer Price Index (Statistics Bureau of Japan)