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Employment situation remains severe in Japan

The ratio of job offers to job seekers, as well as the unemployment rate, saw a slight improvement in September 2009. However, the labor minister of Japan warned that the situation remains severe. The unemployment rate for September stood at 5.3%, a 0.2-point drop from August , marking the second consecutive month of improvement, according to data released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The jobless rate for men was 5.6%, 0.2% lower than the previous month, while the rate for women was 4.9%, down 0.1%. In September, Japan had 3.63million unemployed people, 920,000 more than in the same month of last year. The increase, which exceeded the 890,000 year-on-year rise in August, pushed the level close to the record high of 3.85 million jobless people recorded in April 2003. As the reasons for losing their jobs, 1.13 million people said they were forced out due to corporate restructuring or other company-related policies, 510,000 more than in the same month of last year. Those who cited personal reasons numbered 1.14 million, up 60,000 from September 2008.

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