Japan's jobless rate rises to record; still ranks low
Japan's unemployment rate rose from 2.4 percent in 1982 to 2.6 percent last year, the highest level since the government began compiling such statistics in 1953. Officials in the prime minister's office said the major cause of the high level of unemployment, which averaged 1.56 million last year, was the long recession, despite a surge in the economy in the second half of the year.
Japan's unemployment remains low compared with other advanced industrial nations. The jobless rate last year averaged 12.4 percent in Britain, 11 percent in Canada, and 9.6 percent in the United States, the officials said.