Unemployment rate skyrockets in disaster areas


TOKYO (majirox news) — Unemployment has almost doubled in the prefectures hit worst by the March 11 disasters, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on Sept. 6.

Newly jobless numbers in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures from March 12, the day after a massive earthquake and tsunami hammered Tohoku and triggered the Fukushima nuclear crisis, to Aug. 21 totaled 153,173, 70,000 more than the 82,763 who became unemployed in the three prefectures during the corresponding period in 2010.

Moreover, the unemployment figures do not include the self-employed. In May, the Japan Research Institute, Ltd. estimated that as many as 200,000 could have lost their jobs if the self-employed were included.

Payment of unemployment benefits will start ending for some of these jobless workers from late October, raising fears of increased economic difficulties in the disaster area.

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