In February, Japan saw a rise in its unemployment rate to 2.6%.

In February, Japan observed a rise in its unemployment rate to 2.6 percent from 2.4 percent in the previous month, marking the first increase in seven months, according to government reports released on Friday.

The job availability ratio also dipped slightly by 0.01 point from January to 1.26, indicating 126 jobs were available for every 100 job seekers, as per separate data. This decline, the first in three months, reflects a scenario where the increase in the number of job seekers outpaced that of job openings, potentially fueled by a surge in elderly individuals seeking employment to supplement their pensions amid rising living costs.

In February, the total number of employed individuals rose by 0.3 percent from the previous month to a seasonally adjusted 67.83 million, while the number of unemployed individuals surged by 7.1 percent to 1.82 million. Among the unemployed, 490,000 were newly seeking jobs, marking an increase of 30,000 from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

A ministry official suggested that wage increases might be encouraging more individuals to actively seek employment. Additionally, some individuals may be re-entering the job market as their work contracts end, particularly ahead of the new fiscal year.

Of the unemployed, 770,000 left their jobs voluntarily, marking a 2.7 percent increase from January, while 440,000 were laid off by their employers, marking a 22.2 percent increase.

The number of unemployed women rose from 80,000 to 81 million, while for men, it increased from 50,000 to 1.01 million.

In terms of sectors, job offers in manufacturing decreased by 8.7 percent, while the accommodation and food services sector saw an 8.4 percent decline. The lifestyle and entertainment services sector also contracted by 7.9 percent in February.

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