Japan's jobless rate steady, supports case for recovery

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's jobless rate was steady last month and the availability of jobs improved to the highest level in about five years, underscoring the view that the Japanese economy is steadily recovering.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate came in at 4.1 per cent, unchanged from April, data from the Ministry of the Internal Affairs and Communications showed on Friday. Economists' median forecast was 4 per cent.

Separate data from the labour ministry showed that the jobs-to-applicants ratio rose to 0.9, the highest level since June 2008. It matched the median forecast and improved from 0.89 in April.

The number of new job offers rose 2.1 per cent last month from the previous month. Compared with a year earlier, it was up 6.5 per cent, the labour ministry data showed.