Japan’s jobless rate rose 0.1 percentage points to 5 per cent in March in its first increase since November, the government said on Friday.

The average market forecast was 4.9 per cent in a Kyodo News agency survey.

The number of unemployed people in the world’s second—largest economy climbed to 3.5 million, up 150,000 from a year earlier, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.

For the financial year that ended March 31, the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 5.2 per cent, the second worst on record and up 1.1 percentage points from the previous year, the ministry said.

The availability of jobs in March, measured as a ratio of job openings to job seekers, was 0.49—to—1, almost unchanged from 0.47—to—1 in February, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said.

The ratio for the past financial year plunged from 0.77—to—1 to 0.45—to—1, its lowest ever, the ministry said.

Keywords: Unemployment