Japanese Yen Brushes Off Weaker-Than-Expected Employment Data
- USD/JPY little changed after Japan’s employment report
- Unemployment rate 3.3% in February versus 3.2% expected
- Persistent low inflation remains one of BOJ’s top concerns
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The Japanese Yen was little changed against its US counterpart after Japan released its February employment report. The country’s unemployment rate increased to 3.3 percent from 3.2 in January. Economists forecasted the jobless rate to remain unchanged from last month making the release worse than expected.
Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate decreased to 59.3 percent from 59.7 which is the lowest level since March 2015. All else being equal, this roughly translates to a higher amount of people unable to find a job despite a smaller pool of job-seeking workers.
A tepid response from the Japanese Yen likely reflects how the data minimally impacts Bank of Japan monetary policy expectations. Persistent low rates of inflation remain a top concern for the central bank. Last week, Japan’s National CPI came in at 0.3 percent (YoY) in February versus 0.0 percent in January. Though the jobless rate increased, overall unemployment is at its lowest level since 1997.
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