Jobless benefits quadruple in Japan’s disaster zone

Nov 08, 2011 12:00 AM

People applying for extra jobless benefits as of September rose fourfold from a year earlier in the three prefectures most damaged on March 11, highlighting the severe employment situation there, government data showed.
A total of 12,705 people in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, up from 3,213 the previous year, received the allowances at the end of September beyond the standard payout period ranging from 90 to 330 days, according to the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry.

The government introduced the system in March 2009 to allow people who can't find a job during the designated payout period to conditionally extend the provision of unemployment allowances for 30 or 60 days.
By prefecture, 5,890 people in Miyagi received such benefits, up 3.85 times on a yearly basis, followed by Fukushima with 4,875, up 4.46 times, and Iwate with 1,940, up 3.26 times.

The number of job seekers receiving such benefits for an extended period reached 4,575 in July in the three prefectures, more than three times the previous year's figure, and hit 5,361 in August, more than four times the year-earlier level, before dropping to 3,431 in September, still more than triple last year's number.
As a special measure to support people affected by the quake and tsunami as well as the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the government earlier granted a 120-day extension of unemployment allowance payments to job seekers in Tohoku and extended it again for 90 more days in September.

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