Pandemic creating long-term joblessness

Japanese government data indicates that the coronavirus pandemic is creating more long-term unemployment.

The trend is despite a decline in Japan's overall jobless number.

The internal affairs ministry says the monthly average number of people without work for more than 12 months was about 660,000 from July to September. That's up 180,000 from the same period last year.

1.91 million were unemployed for any length of time, down 110,000.

The numbers suggest that about one in three is experiencing long-term unemployment.

A support group says many in this group are falling into poverty.

The labor ministry says the unemployment insurance system grants special treatment to those affected by the pandemic. But their benefits run out after 360 days.

The government has been paying subsidies to employers to avoid a surge in joblessness. Yet job seekers are facing fewer offers, as the pandemic takes a toll on the economy.