Japan's FY2023 jobless rate flat at 2.6 percent

Japan's average unemployment rate stood at 2.6 percent for the year that ended in March, unchanged from the previous fiscal year.

The internal affairs ministry says the number of people in employment rose by 280,000 to more than 67.5 million on average. The manufacturing industry and the hotel and dining sector led the gains.

Ministry officials say the job situation appears to be improving, with the number of people in jobs almost back to the pre-pandemic level.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March also stood at 2.6 percent, unchanged from February.

A separate labor ministry survey showed that the ratio of job openings to applicants reached 1.28 in March on a nationwide average.

The figure was up 0.02 points from February, and means there were 128 positions available for every 100 job seekers.

Job offers rose year-on-year in the services industry, academic research, and for jobs requiring technical skills.

But new openings declined in all other sectors, including manufacturing, recreation and education.

Labor ministry officials say they're monitoring apparent moves to slash job offers in sectors being affected by rising prices.