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UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS IN JAPAN

UNEMPLOYMENT FALLS IN JAPAN

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Japan's unemployment rate fell last year to 2.1 percent, the lowest level in 10 years, officials said Friday.

The figure was down 0.2 point from 1989, the Management and Coordination Agency said. In 1980, the jobless rate was 2 percent.Meanwhile, the number of jobholders in 1990 increased by 1.21 million people, or 2 percent, the agency said. It was the highest increase since 1.27 million people found jobs in 1957, agency officials said.

Japan's jobless rate would be higher if calculated by U.S. or European methods. In Japan, members of the armed forces and people working more than one hour in the last week of the month are considered employed. Japan has used this method to calculate unemployment since 1953.

The U.S. unemployment rate in December was 6.1 percent. It followed the worst three-month job loss since the 1981-81 recession.

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