Japanese government data shows that the country's unemployment rate stayed unchanged in February. But the number of people out of work grew for the 13th month in a row.
The internal affairs ministry says the seasonally adjusted jobless rate came in at 2.9 percent, the same figure as in the previous month.
The number of unemployed people rose by 350,000 to 1.94 million. That figure indicates a different trend from the unemployment rate because it measures changes from year to year.
Ministry officials believe a second state of emergency for the coronavirus had only a limited impact on the labor market. But they said the situation cannot be seen as improving.
Job availability inched downward, reflecting the coronavirus's impact on work offers. The ratio of openings to applicants was 1.09. That means there were 109 jobs available for every 100 people looking for work.