September unemployment rate remained at 3.4 percent. In July, the reading was 3.3 percent the lowest level of unemployment since April 1997. Job availability held steady, too. The job to applicants' ratio was flat in September at 1.24. This is the highest level of job availability since January 1992, and suggests the unemployment rate could still decline in coming months.
The condition of the jobs market alone is unlikely to sway the Bank of Japan into using today's policy meeting as an opportunity to unleash more stimulus. Rather, other economic indicators such as weak household spending and weak inflation may bolster the case for more easing, although industrial output data yesterday was unexpectedly strong.
The unemployment rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force.
The unemployment rate and employment change are carefully monitored. The employment data show the number employment along with the change in employment for the previous year. Monthly changes in employment also help clarify whether businesses are hiring. The unemployment rate is the percentage of the labor force that is unemployed. A lower jobless rate translates into more income earning workers and greater consumption. Increased spending is a positive for consumer oriented economic growth, something that has lagged in Japan.
By tracking the jobs data, investors can sense the degree of tightness in the job market. If wage inflation threatens, it's a good bet that interest rates will rise; bond and stock prices will fall. No doubt that the only investors in a good mood will be the ones who watched the employment report and adjusted their portfolios to anticipate these events.
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