November 16 (Nikkei) —The number of Japanese that want to work but are not actively seeking employment has surpassed levels from after the global financial crisis erupted, according to government data released on Tuesday.
Some people have given up searching for work because they believe that the jobs they desire are not available. Known as hidden unemployment, such individuals are not reflected in official unemployment statistics, which cover those actively hunting for jobs by going to employment centers, for example.
The hidden jobless in Japan jumped by 190,000 from a year earlier to 4.69 million in the July-September quarter, excluding the three prefectures hit hardest by the March 11 disaster, the Internal Affairs Ministry said.
The figure is nearly 70% larger than the number of officially unemployed people. It is also higher than the 4.61 million in the July-September quarter of 2009, when the employment market deteriorated sharply after the financial crisis.
Of the hidden jobless, the number of women grew by 60,000 while men surged by 130,000. Asked why they are not seeking work, more people replied that there are no jobs that match their skills or their desired conditions such as pay and work hours. The strong yen and concerns over power shortages are seen as factors resulting in a dearth of openings for good jobs.
The number of unemployed people fell 430,000 on the year to 2.77 million for the July-September quarter, excluding the three disaster-hit prefectures. Of this figure, those that have been out of work for at least a year declined by 190,000 to 1.03 million, down for the second straight quarter. While this suggests that fewer people are without work over the long term, some may have exited the employment market by giving up on the job search.