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Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (January 2014)

2013 Basic Survey of Trade Unions
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) released the results of its 2013 Basic Survey of Trade Unions on December 17, 2013.
As of June 30, 2013, the number of "single" and "unit" unions in Japan was 25,532, and the total number of their members was 9,875,000. Compared to the previous year, the number of trade unions had decreased by 243, and their membership had dropped by 17,000 (-0.7%).
The estimated unionization ratio (the ratio of union members to the total number of employed persons) was 17.7%, down 0.2% from the previous year. The number of female union members was 3,034,000, an increase of 44,000 (1.5%), and the estimated female unionization ratio (the ratio of female union members to the total number of employed women) was 12.6%.
The number of part-time workers who belonged to unions was 914,000, an increase of 77,000 (9.2%) over the previous year. Part-time workers accounted for 8.5% of all union members, and their estimated unionization ratio was 9.3%. Both of these ratios were the highest ever.

Industrial Production
Industrial production continues to show an upward movement. In November, industrial production increased by 0.1% over the previous month, registering a rise for the third consecutive month and up 5.0% year-on-year. The index in November was 99.4 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) transport equipment, (2) information and communication electronics equipment, and (3) chemicals, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) desktop computers, (2) midget passenger cars, and (3) semiconductor products machinery, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 2.8% in December and 4.6% in January.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in November
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in November was 279,546yen, up 2.1% in nominal terms and up 0.2% in real terms year-on-year.

(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at 436,293yen, up 0.8% in nominal terms and down 1.1% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was 300,994 yen, up 0.3% in nominal terms and down 1.6% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in November was 63.71 million, an increase of 740,000, or 1.2%, over the same month in the previous year.

(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in November was 2.49 million, a decrease of 110,000, or 4.2%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.0%, the same level as in the previous month.

(10,000 persons)
  November figures Change from previous year
Population aged 15 years or over 11,089 -9 -0.1
Labour force 6,620 64 1.0
Employed persons 6,371 74 1.2
Employees 5,619 60 1.1
Unemployed persons 249 -11 -4.2
Not in labour force 4,466 -72 -1.6
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.7 0.6 -
Employment rate (%) 57.5 0.8 -
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 3.8 -0.2 -
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 4.0 0.0 -

According to a separate report released by the MHLW, job availability in November improved 0.02 points over the previous month, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 1.0. This figure means that there were jobs available for every jobseeker.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in November was 100.8 (2010 = 100), the same level as in the previous month and up 1.5% over the same month of the previous year.

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