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Thomas StorringDirector – Economics and Statistics
Tel: 902-424-2410Email:

September 01, 2020

Japan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged back up to 2.9 per cent in July from 2.8 per cent in June.  Prior to COVID-19, Japan's unemployment rate was very stable: from January 2018 to March 2020 Japan's unemployment rate had remained in a range of 2.2 to 2.5 per cent.  Japan's unemployment rate has not been higher since 2017.  

The impacts of COVID-19 are apparent in Japan's labour market, but the magnitude of the shock appears to be more moderate than observed in other advanced economies.  Compared to February 2020, Japan's labour force fell by 0.9 per cent while employment declined by 1.4 per cent. 

In comparison, the impact of COVID-19 on Canada's and Nova Scotia's labour markets has been more severe.  From February to July, Canada's labour force contracted by 1.4 per cent while employment fell 7.0 per cent.  Canada's unemployment rate rose from 5.6 per cent to 10.9 per cent.  Nova Scotia's labour force was down 4.2 per cent while employment fell 7.3 per cent and the unemployment rate grew from 7.8 per cent to 10.8 per cent.

Statistics Bureau of Japan, Statistics Canada.  Table  14-10-0287-01   Labour force characteristics, monthly, seasonally adjusted and trend-cycle

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