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Japan CPI weak at 0.6%; jobless rate drops to 18-year low

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Just rubbish part time and contract jobs where workers are treated as disposable commodities to be used, abused and discarded.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

But overall growth has remained sluggish.

So true, and, the BOJ and the Japanese government actions will ensure tepid growth continues.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Said it before and say it again.

Statutory indexation of pay rises for the next 5 years. Wage earners on less than Y3,000,000 p.a = 7% per year. Wage earners on less than Y5,000,000 p.a = 5% per year. Wage earners on less than Y7,000,000 p.a = 2% per year. This will soon sort out the seniority pay scales system which is actually lowering the money companies are spending on wages at present, compared to 10 years ago.

Double the minimum wage for all areas in Japan.

Abolish contract worker status

Pass legislation to empower trade unions and forbid company unions. Industrial monopolies are universally accepted as being against the interests of society, why should companies have a monopoly on their workers' rights?

Strong legislation with serious penalties for individuals, rather than the company as a whole, for breaches of the present laws concerning worker's rights and their working conditions.

For the 1st year or 2 you might have a little chaos but at the end of it we will have gotten rid of black companies, have healthy wage and CPI rises, and productivity will increase.

As for healthy industrial growth, nobody can do anything about that, it's too deep and structural, and the solutions (immigration and industrial restructuring) are too radical for the Japanese to consider.

Japan is going down, no one can change that, but the Japanese can have a party on that journey down.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The problem in Japan is that they have nearly 40 percent of part-time workers are about as flexible as you get. They work in poorly paid jobs for hourly rates. Benefits are all but non-existent. Moreover, people working part-time are less likely to marry and have children. If Japan is to solve its demographic problem, it will have to tackle the labour issue. Japan needs to narrow the gap between over-protected permanent workers and under-protected non-permanent ones. That coddling one section of the workforce does not serve Japan’s interests well. Simply making life less cushy for permanent workers is not likely to do any good on its own. The big push should be on improving the wages and conditions of temporary workers. It should be made far easier for them to migrate to permanent jobs and for workers of all descriptions to move more freely between companies.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@sfjp330

It should be made far easier for them to migrate to permanent jobs and for workers of all descriptions to move more >freely between companies.

The lack of labor mobility in this country is outright shocking. I know a 23year old who works for the Okinawa Prefectural government. We discussed the complexities of moving to Osaka. For her to work there, she'd have to take the Osaka Prefecture's government entrance exam, and if she worked for the city directly she'd also have to take their exam as well. Also, you can't take any of these exams past the age of 28 or something, and you can only re-take an exam you fail once. So basically wherever you work at the age of ~30....you're stuck there till you retire. Absolutely ridiculous.

Of course, the mentality of the laborers doesn't help. I suggested she look into working in the private sector, especially for a Western company. It never crossed her mind. She considered the entire idea "scary" and "lacking stability".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CPI weak at 0.6%

Once again the "higher consumer prices = growth" nonsense pervades the article, this time right in the headline.

For the average taxpayer and consumer, a CPI increase of zero, or a small decline, is ideal. When prices drop, people buy more. Every shopkeeper since the dawn of civilization, from ancient Greek fishmongers to the department store moguls at Matsuzakaya, has understood this. Yet Abe and Kuroda think they can brainwash the public into believing otherwise. It's like Tom Sawyer tricking his friends into painting his fence -- only this time it's an entire nation doing labor for no reward.

Note also that it's not the CPI itself that is 0.6% (that would have no meaning), but the increase in the CPI that is 0.6%.

And of course they are trotting out these numbers 1 year and 1 month after the big consumption tax increase, so that they can compare prices to post-increase prices and take the 3% jump we all had to endure right off the books.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The big push should be on improving the wages and conditions of temporary workers. It should be made far easier for them to migrate to permanent jobs and for workers of all descriptions to move more freely between companies.

Well said. Of course, none of this will happen in Japan before hell freezes over....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can believe the jobless rate is a record lows and employers are having a hard time finding people. I work part-time at a hotel and they are offering us 30000 yen every time we sponsor someone to get a job there. Of course, we're talking about 1000yen/hour work here. Our contract also clearly said that as part-time workers, we will never get a raise thus the low inflation!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CanadianJapanMay. 29, 2015 - 11:22AM JST

course, we're talking about 1000yen/hour work here. Our contract also clearly said that as part-time workers, we will never get a raise thus the low inflation!

This is the main reason that human productivity is not increasing in Japan. Without the pay rises, there is no incentive for companies to improve the productivity of their workers and anyone who has visited a branch of Japanese bank knows quite well that there is a serious need for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't see how these metrics are going to improve or matter to anyone in a country with annual population decline and continual job offshore development and cuts at home.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Massaging the numbers indeed. Recently I've noticed a lot of extra people with glow sticks directing traffic the only direction it could possibly go anyways....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

simply rich geting richer

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ThonTaddeo - Kuroda and Abe hitched their wagon to the bogus and completely debunked "inflationary expectations" theory from the very start, don't expect them to unhitch it any time soon.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

but industrial production, inflation and household spending were muted as consumers kept purse strings tight

Might want to think about lowering the sales tax, and taxing the rich and corporations more.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The core consumer price index, excluding volatile food prices, rose 0.4%,

Long way from Kuroda's 2.0% target. LOL.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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