28 Aug 2009

Japan jobless rate highest since Second World War

8:04 pm on 28 August 2009

Unemployment in Japan rose to 5.7% in July, the highest figure since World War II, as companies were forced to shed staff due to the global recession.

The new figures come only days before a general election in Japan, the BBC reports.

The state of Japan's economy is the key issue in the election campaign and news of the higher unemployment rate is a blow for Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Opinion polls show that the governing Liberal Democratic Party faces defeat in the election. It has held power for 53 of the past 54 years.

In July, 3,590,000 Japanese were out of work in July, over 1 million more than a year ago.

Japan's economy grew by 0.9% between April and June, but the latest figures cast doubt on the strength of the recovery.

Though its crushing recession is officially over, the benefits are yet to be felt by families and workers.