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Economy

Japan's job availability ratio hits highest in 44 years in May

Unemployment rate falls to 2.2% as companies grapple with labor shortage

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's unemployment rate stood at 2.2 percent in May, improving from 2.5 percent the previous month, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said Friday.

Job availability stood at 1.60, up from 1.59 in April and hitting the highest level in more than 44 years, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said. The ratio means there were 160 job openings for every 100 workers.

Companies in the country are grappling with a deepening labor shortage as the rapidly aging population means fewer working hands. In a bid to tackle the situation, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet earlier this month approved a plan to accept more workers from abroad.

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