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Japan jobless rate at 23-year low in April; household spending continues dip

Japan's unemployment rate remained its lowest in more than two decades in April, but household spending continued to decline, separate data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications showed May 30.

Japan's jobless rate was a seasonally adjusted 2.8% in the month, unchanged from March and at the lowest level since June 1994.

The number of jobless persons decreased by 280,000, to 1.97 million, while the number of employed increased by 800,000, to 65 million from the year-ago period.

Separately, monthly household spending in April was down 1.4% year over year in real terms as average monthly income per household slipped 2.2% from the year-ago period. In March, spending per household was down 1.3%.

The country's stronger labor market offers hope for a turnaround in declining household expenditures, Reuters said.

Meanwhile, retail sales increased 3.2% year-over-year in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a May 30 report. This was higher than the median estimate of a 2.3% rise.

Large retailers' sales were up 1.1% in the month, following a 0.8% decrease in March.