TOKYO, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- Japan's unemployment rate increased to 3 percent in August, the highest level in more than three years, as the novel coronavirus continued to adversely affect businesses with almost 600,000 people laid off in the month, government data showed Friday.
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the nation's jobless rate rose for a second straight month from 2.9 percent in July to 3.0 percent.
The Statistics Bureau also said the figure in the receding period marked the highest jobless rate since 3.1 percent logged in May 2017.
Numerically and unadjusted for seasonal factors, the number of those unemployed stood at 2.06 million, rising on year by 490,000 people.
The bureau also said it was the first time since May 2017 the figure has surpassed the 2 million-mark.
Separately, the labor ministry said the job availability ratio in August dropped for an eighth straight month to its lowest level since January 2014, from 1.08 in the previous month to 1.04.
The reading equates to there being 104 available job openings for every 100 people seeking work.
"The number of unemployed before adjustment is up, and that of the employed is down, so we can say that the coronavirus infection has continued to affect the state of employment," a government official was quoted as saying.
Among those unemployed, on a seasonally adjusted basis, 710,000 people left their jobs of their own volition, while 590,000 people were laid off, an increase of 30,000 from a month earlier, the latest data showed.
New job seekers comprised 530,000 people, meanwhile, an increase of 40,000 compared to the previous month, the government's data also showed. Enditem