Mannequins stand outside a store in Tokyo shopping district. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
business

Japan's low jobless rate masks deepening worker despair

21 Comments
By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Hiroko Hamada

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
Login to comment

Virus has exposed plenty of cracks in many economies and plenty of injustices in the way the modern workplace has evolved.

29 ( +30 / -1 )

Bad news, but these are very mild numbers compared to other developed countries. I think the Japanese are resilient in these down times in relying on family members and cutting spending. For example, my neighbors have a house in which the first floor is the grandparents and the second floor is the father, mother and 2 children. I am sure if the father lost his job the grandparents would pull the slack.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

It also masks the careless job the government has done of taking care of its citizens. The Abe masks? Seriously? Wonder what he was taking the night he decided to pass such a waste of tax payers’ money

12 ( +19 / -7 )

Lots of jobs waiting on tables and cleaning dishes but not much else...

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Japan likes to brag about such a low unemployment rate, but the majority of workers are in either part time or short term work. There is no job security and the salaries are low for 60% of the workforce. The unscrupulous employers will be using COVID as a convenient excuse to cut workers and their salaries.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

A rise in job losses would undermine one of the few successes of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" stimulus policies, aimed at reviving the economy.

Success? Outwardly refusing to include those underemployed, or not looking for work and calling it a success?

Some weird definition of success!

About 2.4 million furloughed workers are kept on payrolls backed by state subsidies, which the government is seeking to extend beyond its end of September expiration.

Kept on payrolls, but not being paid, or being UNDER paid, and people still believe Abe?

That is some strong kool-aid being passed around!

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Abe and his hereditary LDP ilk have relied too long on the self-sacrificing, abasing, persevering nature of the Japanese populace. Hopefully they will face a long delayed reckoning that should have happened post WW2.

Their oligopolic agenda supported by the American establishment has persisted like a cancer for too long.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

A rise in job losses would undermine one of the few successes of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics" stimulus policies, aimed at reviving the economy.

Hilarious, that statement assumes Abe had a monicommon of anything positive to do with anything. So funny. He aimed at nothing more than enrichment of his friends at the cost of everyone else.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

It also masks the careless job the government has done of taking care of its citizens.

This story really about how private-sector employers treat their workers, which is lousy bordering on abusive. The worst thing Abe did was promote market reforms, which among other things has given the employers more freedom to pay lousy wages and undercut workers' job certainty.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The numbers, unemployment rate, could hide a multitude of sins.

The army of temps, the minimum wage cannon fodder, many highly educated middle/advanced aged men/women in semi retirement.

2.4 million furloughed workers are kept on payrolls backed by state subsidies, which the government is seeking to extend beyond its end of September expiration.

This is the crunch, the rub, the china shop looking for a elephant, forcing wage deflation.

A weight on the economy, and also a method to curtail/leverage non-regular workers spending power.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

As usual the Japanese government get away with fiddling the numbers. 40% of the market don't count.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

If only haken gaisha's were made illegal.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

When I worked at a large kaisha, mostly all of the women were on agency contracts. A disgrace.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I am truly thankful to be stably employed at a company that takes excellent care of its workers. They have shown us real loyalty in these difficult times and I won’t forget it.

I feel great sympathy for the large number of workers in the gig economy in Japan.

Even with the company’s support, this has been stressful. I can only imagine what it’s like for the less fortunate.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I don't know what they want anymore. First they greatly complain that Japan hiring structure is bad compare to the world becuase most have to work till their retirement at one company and should seek more different jobs, then they stsrted complaining there is a great lack of workers and should hired more immigrants from outside and now they say Japan has too many who are part time.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

I don't know what they want anymore

They who ?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Every country needs to have a guaranteed minimum income for all sufficient to pay for basic needs of food, shelter, health care, transportation, and education. Paid for by Income above this poverty line that is taxed at an increasing rate so that the richer pay a fair share proportionate to their wealth.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

In my neck of the woods, many jobless people, many part time workers, many blue collar workers, many 75 year old farmers, many city hall workers buying cheap beer, cigarettes and dinner bentos after work at 10pm.

no Abenomics here.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Japan likes to brag about such a low unemployment rate, but the majority of workers are in either part time or short term work. There is no job security and the salaries are low for 60% of the workforce. The unscrupulous employers will be using COVID as a convenient excuse to cut workers and their salaries."

Spot the difference:

The UK likes to brag about such a low unemployment rate, but the majority of workers are in either part time or short term work. There is no job security and the salaries are low for 60% of the workforce. The unscrupulous employers will be using COVID as a convenient excuse to cut workers and their salaries.

Not that had.

Enne?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

hard

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Counting only full-time workers certainly skews the stats for Japan. Full-time unemployed / total workforce is 2.8/9%.

However, the stats for the US are blatantly false. 31 million receiving unemployment / 156 million total workforce is 20%. unemployment. And anyone unemployed over 6 months is no longer counted, whether looking for work or not.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites