Tokyo - Japan's unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage points to 4.0 per cent from the previous month, for the first decline in two months, the government said Tuesday.
The number of unemployed people dropped by 170,000 from a year earlier to 2.58 million, falling year-on-year for the 40th consecutive month, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said.
Medical and welfare services added 140,000 employees for a total of 7.31 million people, and wholesalers and retailers saw an increase of 150,000 employees to reach 10.83 million.
Scientific research and professional and technical services lost 220,000 jobs, to 1.95 million, the ministry said.
But analysts say unstable forms of employment, especially among women and young people, have been a more serious issue for the country than unemployment rates.
The proportion of temporary and part-time workers in the labour force hit a record high in 2012 of 35.2 per cent for the third straight year of increase, the government said.
The availability of jobs, measured as the ratio of job offers per job seeker, was unchanged at 0.95 in September from the previous month, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said. - Sapa-dpa