Japan’s unemployment rate decreased to 2.8 percent in July, down for the second consecutive month, despite a resurgence of COVID-19 infections that caused many regions to enter or extend emergency measures that limited business activities, government data showed on Tuesday. The seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell 0.1 percentage point from 2.9 percent in June, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). However, the level is still higher than the 2.4 percent logged in February last year, when the Japanese economy had yet to experience major fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. According to separate data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the job availability ratio in July increased to 1.15 from 1.13 in the previous month, up for the second month in a row, meaning that there were 115 job openings for every 100 job seekers. The ratio had risen 0.04 point in June. Due to a surge of new infections driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the Japanese government declared the latest COVID-19 state of emergency for Tokyo in mid-July, only three weeks from the end of the third emergency for the capital. Adding to the capital, Okinawa was also under a state of emergency during July. The southern island prefecture’s virus emergency was declared in late May. Under the emergency declaration, people are asked to stay home, while restaurants and bars are requested not to offer alcohol and close by 8pm local time.