Statement of GS

Statement: July Unemployment Rate

27 August 2004
Tadayoshi Kusano
General Secretary
  1. The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications announced today that the unemployment rate for July this year was 4.9%, up 0.3% from June. The rate was the highest since February’s 5.0% after which there was a tendency to decline.

  2. The government downplayed the fall to judge from the job-offer ratio of 0.83 for the month, higher than June’s figure by 0.01, associating it with moves among some people to seek other jobs under the current economic uptrend.

    However, looking at the rates for men by age, the rate for 15-24 continued being at a high level and the one for 25-34 was 6.1%, up from July 2003 by 0.6%.

    In the regional perspective, Tohoku's rate remained at 5.7% and regions with higher unemployment rates, including Kinki, Shikoku and Kyushu regions, only showed a relatively smaller decrease. There is a strong tendency toward bipolarisation.

  3. Despite such tendency, the government hurriedly announced that supplement budget would not be drawn up, which would put an end to the emergency employment measures beginning in 2001.

    Labour policy priorities for 2005 prepared by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare includes the strengthening measures for young job-hoppers, but is not sufficient in taking radical measures, particularly local employment measures, to overcome high unemployment.

    The GDP growth in April-June was much slower than expected. Plus, there are some signs and factors for economic downturn, including a jump in crude oil prices. Therefore, employment measures should further continue.

  4. RENGO believes that the current economic uptrend should be the best opportunity for a drastic decrease in unemployment and therefore the government should give the highest priority to effective implementation of all possible employment measures targeting 3% unemployment rate.

    Young job-hoppers amounting to more than 4 million persons should be seen as a social problem in a broader sense and comprehensive measures, in addition to employment ones, should be taken for them. Moreover, the Emergency Local Job Creation Special Subsidy Programme, which will come to an end within this fiscal year, should be carried over to the following years. RENGO will work even harder to these ends.