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Japan's long-term joblessness spikes to post-Lehman high

Rigid labor market makes finding new jobs difficult after pandemic layoffs

The morning rush hour in Tokyo: The pandemic has driven up long-term unemployment in Japan. (Photo by Yuki Nakao)

TOKYO -- The coronavirus pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to Japan's labor market, with people without a job for at least a year surging to the highest levels since the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of Lehman Brothers more than a decade ago.

Long-term unemployment reached 640,000 in the October-December term of 2021, jumping 31% from before the pandemic, a labor force survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications shows.

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