Japan’s labor ministry says more than 60,000 people in the country have lost or are about to lose their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The ministry has been checking for cases of workers who have been fired or have not had their contracts renewed because their employers are struggling with poor sales.
Officials found that 60,439 people became unemployed between the end of January and September 23.
They believe the actual figure is much higher, as these are the only cases known to regional labor bureaus and public job placement offices.
The number of coronavirus-linked job losses topped 10,000 on May 22. It exceeded 30,000 on July 1 and 50,000 on August 31.
Ministry officials are urging businesses to maintain jobs through the use of government subsidy programs. They also plan to help the unemployed find new jobs.