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Japan jobless rate rises to 3.1%, a new 3-year high in October

Job availability improves but fresh COVID surge could slow November labor demand

Although economists predict the labor market may worsen for job seekers near year's end, many expect the downturn to be milder than in previous big recessions. (Photo by Taro Yokozawa)

TOKYO -- Japan's unemployment rate for October rose to 3.1% from 3.0% in September, the highest since May 2017, the statistics bureau said Tuesday, as more people returned to the labor market amid a sluggish jobs outlook.

"Demand for part-time jobs slowly picked up in sectors such as restaurants in October," said Takuya Hoshino, economist at Dai-ichi Life Research Institute.

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