JP: Unemployment Rate

August 29, 2016 06:30 CDT

Consensus Actual Previous
Level 3.1% 3.0% 3.1%

The July jobless rate dropped to its lowest level since 1995. The unemployment rate slipped to 3.0 percent from 3.1 percent in June. This is the lowest rate since May 1995.

The job-to-applicant ratio was steady at 1.37, which is the highest level since August 1991. But it is the first time since February this year the ratio hasn't risen during the month.

Employment added 980,000 jobs from a year ago after increasing 720,000 in June.

The Unemployment Rate measures the number of unemployed as a percentage of the labor force. The unemployment rate is part of the Labour Force Survey which also includes employment data.

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.