Japan jobless rate falls, labor demand improves again

TOKYO Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:47pm EDT

A man takes a nap at a bench at a street in Tokyo November 29, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

A man takes a nap at a bench at a street in Tokyo November 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Yuya Shino

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's jobless rate fell to the lowest in more than six years in February and the availability of jobs improved to the highest in more than six years in an encouraging sign that a tight labor market will support consumer spending.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in February, down from 3.7 percent in January, figures from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed on Friday. That compared with the median estimate of 3.7 percent.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio rose to 1.05 from 1.04 in January, matching the median estimate. That marked the highest since August 2007, when the ratio stood at 1.05.

The number of new job offers fell 2.9 percent in February from the previous month but was up 7.1 percent from a year ago.

A full table can be seen on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications at:

here

(Note: The jobs-to-applicants ratio and new job offers can be seen in Japanese on the labor ministry's website.)

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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