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Unemployment in Japan in 2009
« on: August 28, 2009, 12:36:46 PM »
By Roland Buerk
BBC News, Tokyo

Japan's unemployment rate rose to a record 5.7% in July in figures released just days before a general election.

Companies are continuing to lay off workers even though the economy has returned to growth after the most bruising recession for decades.

The state of Japan's economy is the key issue in the election campaign.

Opinion polls show the Liberal Democratic Party, which has governed for 53 of the last 54 years, faces defeat in the election.

News that the unemployment rate has risen to the highest since the Second World War is a blow for the Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Opinion polls show his Liberal Democratic Party was already on course for defeat on Sunday for only the second time in more than 50 years.

In July, 3,590,000 Japanese were out of work in July, over a million more than a year ago.

Japan's crushing recession is officially over, but the benefits are yet to be felt by families and workers.

Other figures released in Tokyo show core consumer prices fell by 2.2% in July from a year earlier, the fastest pace on record.

Japan was stuck in a deflationary spiral for years after an asset price bubble burst at the start of the 1990s.

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