Japan's jobless rate 2.4% in Jan. hitting lowest in nearly 3 years

Japan's jobless rate hit a nearly three-year low in January as the economy enjoys a rebound from the effects of the pandemic. The seasonally adjusted rate inched down one tenth of a point to 2.4 percent.

The internal affairs ministry said on Friday that nearly 66.89 million people were employed in January. That's up 430,000 from the same month last year. And it's the sixth month in a row the figure has gone up. 1.64 million people were unemployed, a 20-month low.

The number of people temporarily absent from work was still above pre-pandemic levels at nearly 2.19 million.

The labor ministry says job market is getting more competitive, with 135 job openings for every 100 applicants. It's the first time in two years and five months that that number has gone down.

The ministry says the number of job offers has held steady but the market is busier as people are looking for better working conditions.