Japan’s Sales-Tax Increase Threatens a Labor-Market Miracle

After a multiyear boom, Japan’s job market may now be as strong as it’s going to get. That’s not good news, since tumbling unemployment hasn’t yet generated solid wage growth, and the sales tax is set to increase to 10% from 8% in just a month’s time.

In July data published Friday, the ratio of new job offers to applicants dipped again. It’s the first time the metric has declined three months in a row since 2009, during the depths of the financial crisis. At 2.48 jobs offered per applicant, the series had hit a record high…


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