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Jobless slightly down, households hit

Date Posted: 1998-12-04

According to a report released by the Okinawa Prefecture Project Development Division, the total number of jobless people in the prefecture is slightly down. The bad news is that the number of household heads out of job is sharply up, from 2.7 percent in the beginning of the year to 6.1 percent in October.

The prefecture employment officials see the trend as serious. "We are very worried about this trend, because it means that when a household head is out of job, he cannot provide for his family, and that in turn means no one in the family has money to spend, so the effect is more severe," an official at the prefecture office said.

The main reason for household heads to lose their job was because they got fired from their companies due to bad business conditions. 25.5 percent of jobless household heads gave that as a reason. The same percentage at the beginning of the year was only 16.6 percent. (By contrast, the figure in mainland Japan is 32.4 percent). Officials also note that because the average size of a company in Okinawa is small, they do not inform the prefecture employment officials about their hiring and firing practices.

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