TOKYO - Japan's jobless rate rose slightly in July and the availability of jobs held steady at the highest in 22 years, giving evidence of a pause in improvement in the labour market.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, rose to 3.8 per cent in July from 3.7 per cent the month before. The median estimate was for the jobless rate to remain unchanged.
The jobs-to-applicants ratio was 1.10 in July. That was unchanged from the previous month, which marked the highest since June 1992, data from the labour ministry showed on Friday.
The median estimate from economists was that the ratio measuring labour demand would remain unchanged.
The number of new job offers fell 1.5 per cent in July from the previous month but rose 4.5 per cent from a year ago.