EMPLOYMENT: The Mighty Yen Hits Home

The Mighty Yen Hits Home

In most countries an unemployment rate of only 3% would be nothing short of nirvana. But in Japan it is cause for national anguish and alarm. Because of continuing woes in such industries as steel and even autos, Japan has reached the 3% jobless level for the first time since it began keeping monthly employment statistics in 1953.

The most important cause of the trouble is the 17-month rise of the yen against the dollar, which has hurt Japanese exporters. In response, Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone's proposed fiscal-1987 budget, calls for increased public spending and a one-year emergency program to develop...

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