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Tokyo - Japan's jobless rate shrank to 3.5 percent in August and the availability of jobs held steady at the highest in 22 years, reflecting recent improvement in the labour market.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent from July's 3.8 percent, internal affairs ministry data showed on Tuesday.

Economists' median forecast had pointed to a flat reading at 3.8 percent.

The jobs-to-applicants ratio was 1.10 in August, unchanged from the previous month when the ratio climbed to its highest since June 1992, according to data from the labour ministry.

The median estimate from economists had indicated that the ratio, a measure of labour demand, would remain unchanged.

The number of new job offers fell 0.7 percent in August from the previous month and was down 0.6 percent from a year ago. - Reuters