Japan Real Time Charts and Data

Edward Hugh is only able to update this blog from time to time, but he does run a lively Twitter account with plenty of Japan related comment. He also maintains a collection of constantly updated Japan data charts with short updates on a Storify dedicated page Is Japan Once More Back in Deflation?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Japan Unemployment December 2007

Japan's job vacancies fell to a two- year low and the jobless rate was unchanged, adding to evidence that consumer spending may slow. The jobless rate remained at 3.8percent in December, the statistics bureau said today in Tokyo. The number of positions available for each applicant slipped to 0.98.

Job seekers outnumbered positions available last month for a second consecutive month, with the ratio falling to the lowest level since October 2005, the Labor Ministry's report showed. The ratio of jobs to applicants slipped to 1.04 in whole year 2007 from 1.06 in 2006.

In fact the number of unemployed persons in December 2007 was 2.31 million, which was a decrease of 130 thousand or 5.3% from December 2006, while the number of employed persons stood at in December 2007 63.96 million, an increase of 420 thousand or 0.7% on the previous year.

The average unemployment rate for whole year 2007 was 3.9% which was down from the 2006 average of 4.1. The average number of employed persons rose from 63.8 million in 2006 to 64.1 million in 2007.

The statistics office also published earnings and expendidture data for December 2007. Expenditure data for two-or-more-person households showed that average monthly consumption expenditures per household for December 2007 were 351,667 yen, which was up 3.1% in nominal terms and 2.2% in real terms over December 2006.

The income and expenditure data for workers' households showed that average monthly income per household stood at 950,654 yen, which was down 1.8% in nominal terms and 2.7% inreal terms on December 2006.

Consumption expenditure stood at 379,388 yen, up 2.7% in nominal terms and 1.8% in real terms on the previous year. If people are spending slightly more and earning slightly less, then the conclusion is inescapable, they are saving less.

In a separate report we learn that retail sales fell for the first time in five years in 2007, as consumers bought fewer cars and unfavorable weather affected purchases of seasonal items, at least that was the explanation offered by Trade Ministry spokesman Takahide Arai earlier today. The change - reported by METI - was an increase of 0.2% year on year in December 2007.