Activity reports E-mail magazine

Economic and Labour Situation in Japan April 2022


2022 Spring Struggle for a Better Life

On April 5, RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) carried out its third tally of wage hike settlements reached in the 2022 Spring Struggle for a Better Life. RENGO’s survey revealed that 2,189 unions that had demanded average wage hikes for members and engaged in labour–management negotiations had reached settlements by that time.

The average wage hike in these settlements (including the regular wage hike) was 6,319 yen, the equivalent of 2.11% of the average wage before the hike; this level was 856 yen, and 0.29 percentage points, more than at the same stage last year. Of unions with more than 1000 members, the average wage hike was 6,526 yen, up 2.13%; this level was 932 yen, and 0.32 percentage points, more than at the same stage last year. Of unions with fewer than 300 members, the average wage hike was 5,125 yen, up 2.06%; this level was 486 yen, and 0.22 percentage points, more than at the same stage last year. Of unions with fewer than 100 members, the average wage hike was 4,600 yen, up 1.98%; this level was 447 yen, and 0.22 percentage points, more than at the same stage last year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results1

(1) Employment

The number of employed persons in February 2022 was 66.58 million, a decrease of 35,000 from the same month the previous year. By gender, this included 36.77 million men, down 370,000 from the previous year, and 29.81 million women, up 20,000.

(2) Unemployment

The number of unemployed persons in February 2022 was 1.80 million, a decrease of 150,000 from the same month in the previous year, for the eighth straight monthly decline. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in February was 2.7%, down 0.1% from the previous month. The unemployment rate for men was 3.0%, and 2.4% for women, unchanged from the previous month.

Units: 10,000 persons
Change from
previous year

Population aged fifteen and over 11,060 -37 -0.3
Labour force 6,838 -51 -0.7
Employed persons 6,658 -35 -0.5
Employees 6,005 -22 -0.4
Unemployed persons 180 -15 -7.7
Not in labour force 4,215 14 0.3
Labour force participation rate (%) 61.8 -0.1
Employment rate (%) 60.1 0.1
Unemployment rate, original series(%) 2.6 -0.2
Current month Change from
previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted(%) 2.7 -0.1

(3) Job Availability

Japan’s job availability in February stood at 1.21, up 0.01 over the previous month. This figure means there were 121 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers. It was the highest ratio since 1.31 in April 2020, when the Japanese government declared the COVID-19 state of emergency for the first time. The ratio of regular employee job offers to applicants was 0.93, up 0.02 over the previous month. The ratio of new job offers to applicants, a leading indicator for the labour market, was 2.21, up 0.05 over the previous month.

Industrial Production 2

Industrial output in February increased by 0.1% over the previous month, for the first rise in three months with car production rebounding from a slump triggered by supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While production, inventories, and inventory ratio increased, shipments decreased.
The industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) motor vehicles; (2) transport equipment (excl. motor vehicles); and (3) general-purpose and business oriented machinery, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecasts in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 3.6% in March and by 9.6% in April.

2015 average = 100
Seasonally adjusted index Original index
Index Change from previous month (%) Index Change from previous year (%)
Production 95.8 0.1 92.8 0.2
Shipments 92.7 -1.3 89.9 -1.7
Inventories 101.3 1.9 102.5 7.3
Inventory ratio 118.8 3.0 124.3 8.2

Family Income and Expenditure Survey 3

Higher energy and food prices have already begun to pressure households.

(1) Expenditure of Households of Two Persons or More

Average monthly consumption expenditure of households of two or more persons in February was 257,887 yen, up 2.2% in nominal terms and up 1.1% in real terms from the previous year. By component, spending on fuel and utilities expanded 1.9% from a year earlier, reflecting colder-than-usual weather in some areas, up for the first time in 11 months.

(2) Income and Expenditures for Workers’ Households

Average monthly income per household stood at 540,712 yen, up 1.0% in nominal terms and down 0.1% in real terms over the previous year, down for the first time in seven months. The average level of consumption expenditure was 285,289 yen per month, up 1.6% in nominal terms and up 0.5% in real terms year-on-year.

Consumer Prices 4

The consumer price index (CPI) in February was 100.7 (2020 = 100), up 0.9% over the previous year and up 0.5% over the previous month, driven by higher fuel costs and a weak yen. Core inflation (CPI less food and energy) showed a marked decline from the previous year. However, due to upward pressure from commodity prices, Japan’s inflation is expected to be about the 2% target set by the Bank of Japan from April.

February 2021

Index Annual
change (%)
change (%)
(seasonally adjusted)
All items 100.7 0.9 0.5
All items, less fresh food 100.5 0.6 0.4
All items, less fresh food and energy 99.2 -1.0 0.2

  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)