Why Japan's Jobless Rate Is Just 2.6% While the U.S.'s Has Soared

Japan's unemployment has barely grown during the COVID-19 crisis, thanks in large part to a business culture that prizes employees' interests over short-term profits. Much of the country's economy remained open in the pandemic's early months. But the jobless picture was aided even more by policies based on a tradeoff between ordinarily high demands on workers in return for job security. The same policies have produced a tight job market that can make companies risk averse in their hiring. But the net effect during the crisis has been much less economic pain inflicted on workers.

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