March 3(Thursday)

Finding a place you belong and a role to play as you begin your new life in society this spring


The day before yesterday, the quick estimation of the labor force survey for this January was released. I feel that several of the figures reflected the results of my Cabinet continuing to focus steadfastly on employment, employment, and employment ever since its inception.


The number of unemployed persons was 3.09 million, a decrease of 140,000 compared with January 2010. And, while the unemployment rate had exceeded 5% continuously since April 2009, it dropped below 5% to 4.9% this past December for the first time in 21 months and stayed steady at 4.9% in January as well. Looking at the seasonally-adjusted figures, we find that the number of employed persons has been increasing since last November, while the number of unemployed persons has been declining continuously since last October. That said, there has been no change to the fact that we remain squarely in the midst of a severe situation. I intend to stay focused on this issue, strengthening the measures to be taken in local areas.


Above all, we will be engaged in a final push to boost employment of students about to graduate the end of the fiscal year is approaching. More than 120,000 people have already visited the newly-established New Graduate Support Hello Work offices. What's more, between September and December last year, there were over 25,000 cases in which job applicants received employment offers through the assistance of Job Supporters (professionals charged with assisting job seekers during the employment search and subsequent application process), whose numbers I had doubled in September. The number of cases in which special incentive pay was provided to employers hiring young people who had already graduated from school reached 240,000 in total since the end of September.


As we head to the end of this month, we will be reinforcing our support even further by adding yet another hundred Job Supporters and other means. These Job Supporters in each local area are people with a wealth of both life experience and workplace experience. Among them you will find those who are deeply engaged with the troubles of the young job seekers and shed tears of joy when a job offer is landed successfully. Witnessing such things myself at Hello Work centers, I am fully convinced of the significance of these efforts.


To all those of you in the midst of a job search, about to make your way in society, I urge you not to agonize alone. By all means, contact your Hello Work office and make use of these services to find a job in which you can activate your strengths to their fullest.

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