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Japan’s Plunging Jobless Rate Is All About Aging, not Abenomics

Labor-market rules crimp wage gains and damp inflation.
Bloomberg business news

Is Abe the Architect of His Government's Downfall?


As Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sees it, Japan’s tight labor market is a key success of his economic strategy: the unemployment rate is the lowest in 21 years and the job-to-applicant ratio is the highest in 25 years.

Analysis of data over a longer period indicates that the nation’s aging and declining population is the driving force, and that while more than 1 million new jobs have been created since Abe came to power in late 2012, labor-market rules mean most of the change is in non-permanent, lower-paying positions.