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Japan Long-Term Unemployed Rises

May 21, 1998

TOKYO (AP) _ Japan’s economic woes have gotten so severe that one in five unemployed Japanese have failed to find new work in more than a year, the government said.

The number of people who reported being without a job for more than 12 months rose to 510,000 in 1998, up 30,000 from last year and the highest level since the first survey in 1983, the Management and Coordination Agency said in a report released Tuesday.

The survey of the nation’s unemployed, which is conducted every February, also found that 760,000 of Japan’s 2.46 million jobless lost their jobs ``involuntarily,″ through layoffs and bankruptcies. That number was also a record high.

The agency said the hardest hit were workers aged 45 and over, who are less sought-after because they expect higher salaries than younger employees.

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