However, today's failing marks go the Associated Press:
Japan unemployment rate improved to 3.6 percent in July; prices, production slippedOh, no it will not...not for the average worker.
TOKYO -- The economy minister said Friday Japan's recovery was on solid track, brushing off data showing prices and production slipped despite improvement in the job market.
In data released Friday, Japan's unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in July from 3.7 percent in June, better than the 3.7 percent expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires and Nikkei.
The numbers suggest tightening in the labor market continues as baby boomers retire and are replaced by younger generations. That may mean wage increases, which would be a big plus for growth...
If the oldest, highest-paid workers are retiring from their jobs, then the median and average wages and benefits must decrease--no matter how high or low the unemployment rate.
Oh, I suppose an employer could somehow think that the retirement of a worker means that everyone remaining on the company's employment rolls should get a piece of what was the retiree's former salary...
"Listen up folks, Tanaka retired last month, meaning that what would have been his salary is just sitting around, doing nothing. Can I see a show of hands of anyone who might be willing to take a share--we're running out of space in the bank account..."
Now if by contrast, labor market tightness leads to a competition for existing labor, such competition could push employers to raise wages and benefits--though the correlation between the unemployment rate and wage & benefit increases is probably weaker in Japan than in most industrialized countries.
Later - Oooooh. In looking back over the posts at Global Talk 21, I see that Okumura-san has torn into my positive assessment of Norimitsu Onishi's article on the Abe visit with the descendant Judge Pal.