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Japan's 4m inactive workers put job market at risk of shrinking

May unemployment at 3-year high as job openings take sharpest fall in 46 years

TOKYO -- Japan's low unemployment rate may not remain that way much longer.

The rate rose to 2.9% in May, up from 2.6% the month before, the Statistics Bureau announced on Tuesday. It is the country's highest unemployment rate in three years but still low compared to other countries in Asia and the West. The increase was mainly due to laid-off workers returning to the job market.

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