Okinawa unemployment rate record low at 4.4%

Okinawa Prefecture officials announced Tuesday that the unemployment rate in the prefecture in 2016 was down to 4.4%, the first time in 13 years that the figure has dropped below 5%.

As for a reason, officials point out that the Okinawan economy is in a good shape due to the increasing number of tourists for the fourth consecutive year, and the unemployment rate has improved to the 4-percent-level for the first time since 1993 when dipped to 4.3%.

The monthly unemployment rate in December 2016 was 3.2% that is 1.8% lower than in December a year ago. The December number is a record low since 1973 when it was 2.7%.

An official at Okinawa Prefecture Employment Policy Division says, “We think that this reflects the increased recruitment by restaurants and sightseeing facilities because of the booming tourism business. We would like to concentrate on improving the quality of jobs from now on.”