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Japan manufacturing jobs lowest in five decades

Published on Feb 1, 2013 5:10 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - Employment in Japan's once-mighty manufacturing sector has fallen below 10 million for the first time in five decades, as a new government vows to stoke the struggling economy.

Official employment data released Friday showed the number of workers in Japanese industry, which fuelled the country's stratospheric rise from the ashes of World War II, slipped to 9.98 million in December.

That is the lowest level since 1961 as firms slash costs and ship manufacturing jobs to lower-cost nations overseas.

Like many developed economies, the manufacturing sector has been hollowed out in high-cost Japan as it struggles to compete with manufacturing powerhouse China and rivals in South Korea and Taiwan.

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