Japan's unemployment rate rose to 2.8 per cent in April from 2.6 per cent recorded in the previous month, the government said on Friday.

The number of unemployed people in April rose 10.6 per cent year-on-year to 2.09 million for the 15th straight month of rise, dpa news agency reported citing a report published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

Though the unemployment rate remained relatively low despite the coronavirus pandemic, one of the most critical issues in Japan's labour situation has been underemployment, analysts argue.

US unemployment index

The proportion of temporary and part-time workers, many of whom are women and young people, stood at 36 per cent in April, the ministry said.

These workers in these types of roles typically earn less. In 2019, their wages were nearly one-third of those of regular salaried employees. Such contingent workers also bore the brunt of the economic fallout of the pandemic.

Japan's economy shrank at an annualised rate of 5.1 per cent in the January-to-March period, the first contraction in three quarters, as the country has been struggling with a slow vaccination roll-out and rising coronavirus infections.