RTTNews - The unemployment rate in Japan came in at 5.2 percent in May, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said on Tuesday, marking its highest level since September 2003. Analysts had expected an increase of 5.1 percent following the 5.0 percent gain in April.

The job-to-applicant ratio came in at a record low of 0.44, compared to forecasts for 0.45 after the 0.46 level in April.

But the number of employed persons rose from 63.22 million in April to 63.42 million in May. The job participation rate was 60.5 percent, up from 60.4 percent a month earlier.

The number of unemployed persons rose to 3.47 million people from 3.46 million in the previous month. The number of new job offers plummeted 34.5 percent on year after falling an annual 26.5 percent in April.

Also on Tuesday, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said that average household spending in Japan was up 0.3 percent on year in May, versus expectations for a 1.5 percent decline following the 1.3 percent annual contraction in April.

Wage-earner household spending jumped 1.8 percent on year, the data showed, after gaining an annual 0.4 percent in April.

The propensity to consume, which measures the amount of disposable income spent, came in at 93.1 percent after checking in at 89.1 percent in the previous month.

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