JP: Unemployment Rate

Wed Apr 27 18:30:00 CDT 2016

Consensus Actual Previous
Level 3.3% 3.2% 3.3%

March unemployment rate was at a decades low of 3.2 percent, down from 3.3 percent in February. Employment was up 200,000 from the same month a year ago after increasing 290,000 in February. The labour force participation rate was 59.2 percent, up 0.1 percent from a year ago. The employment rate was 57.2 percent, also up 0.1 percent from a year ago. The job-to-applicant ratio rose to 1.30 last month, the highest level since December 1991 and beating expectations it would hold steady at 1.28. That suggests there is a high level of job availability, which analysts think could push unemployment lower over coming months.

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.