Japan jobless rate in April rises to 4.7 percent

May 30, 2011 - 8:58 PM

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's unemployment rate in April rose for the first time in six months, while the nation's factory output posted a weaker-than-expected rebound amid sluggish output following the March earthquake and tsunami.

The April jobless rate climbed to 4.7 percent from the March unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said Tuesday.

The number of jobless people in Japan stood at 3.09 million in April, down 300,000 from a year earlier, the ministry said.

Japan's industrial output in April rose 1.0 percent from the previous month, recovering from a record 15.5 percent drop in March, the government said.

But factory output — a key barometer of Japan's economic health — posted a weaker-than-expected rebound as economists forecast a 2.2 percent output increase on average in a Kyodo News survey.