Japan's job availability rose in December to its best level in 22 years while the unemployment rate improved to 3.4 percent, suggesting that companies are willing to hire more workers as corporate profits recover, the government said Friday.
The ratio of employment offers to seekers climbed from 1.12 in November for the third straight month to 1.15, the highest level since March 1992, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. That means 115 positions were available for every 100 job seekers.
The country's unemployment rate fell 0.1 point from 3.5 percent the previous month to the lowest level since August 1997, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in a preliminary report.
The Japanese yen's recent rise against the dollar has defied conventional market wisdom, but a stronger currency may actually support Japan as it confronts the Trump administration on matters of trade and foreign exchange. (Reuters)
The population in Tokyo's waterfront areas has ballooned in recent years and is only expected to keep climbing after the 2020 Olympics, ratcheting up pressure on the local government to expand its already crowded public transit system. (Nikkei)
Residential land prices in Japan have risen for the first time in 9 years. Demand was firm thanks to low mortgage rates on the back of the central bank's negative interest rate policy. Also helping out home buyers was a tax break. (NHK)
Many major Japanese companies, including automakers and electronics makers, on Wednesday proposed raising their pay scales for the fourth straight year, but the hikes will be the smallest in the four years. (Jiji)