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Japan jobless rate hits 3-year high despite chronic labor shortage

Reading of 3.0% for August raises concerns over post-COVID outlook

Passersby wearing protective face masks walk at a crossing, amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan September 29, 2020.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- The jobless rate in Japan stood at 3.0% in August compared with 2.9% in July, data from the Statistics Bureau showed on Wednesday, amid a fragile economic recovery following the deep recession sparked by the coronavirus.

The August reading is the highest since 3.1% in May 2017, underlining a reversal of the decadelong downtrend in the unemployment rate under former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic growth program, known as Abenomics.

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