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Local unemployment tops 38,000 this year

Date Posted: 2010-04-22

Okinawa’s employment picture remains bleak, with the number of people losing their jobs pushing over 38,000. More than half of those now unemployed were fired by companies or the companies went bankrupt, or contracts expired.

The Okinawa Prefecture Labor and Workers Office reports the situation’s really not as dreary as first portrayed. Although 20,000 were terminated by companies and 18,000 people quit on their own, the Okinawa Labor Office says “this number contains people from outside Okinawa…mainlanders who got fired or factories closed due to the depression came to Okinawa.”

Okinawa companies weren’t responsible for the negative statistics, as most of the unemployment has to be attributed to mainland prefectures. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima says “I know I promise employment expansion. It’s easy to say, but is technically so hard. I have to say that it’s going to be a campaign for many years to have employment expansion.”

The nursing industry, as well as welfare agencies, are expected to see increases in employment, although these jobs pay less than others. Officials say pay and working conditions are not good, leaving people who’ve studied nursing care to move on to other jobs. Government officials say company owners should consider improving pay and work conditions for their employees.

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