Japan's labor crunch leads to tightest job market in 40 years

By Noriyuki Suzuki

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I can only assume many companies are unprofitable or barely profitable if they cannot raise wages.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

You mean there is not enough meat for the grinder?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the government will accelerate efforts to improve labor market conditions that directly affect the lives of ordinary people under the "Abenomics" policy mix.

These jokers don't know anything about the "ordinary people", they've been living in their privileged bubbles since they the day they were born. It's all empty words anyways though, they don't care about the common people, they just want to raise their consumption numbers so they can say they are improving the economy.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Old definitions of economic growth as something to aspire to have to be rewritten and it has to happen in Japan first. Falling population and demographic changes means the same metric isn't going to mean the same thing and has to take people into account

7 ( +8 / -1 )

In the IT circles here in Japan, the wages have not returned to anywhere near pre 2008 meltdown wages. The hours are harder, companies expect you do more overtime, on call, weekend and holiday coverage and yet your monthly salary is at or below what they were paying ten years ago. And this is for what I see just in a IT jobs arena so if it's similar in other jobs, it's no wonder why there are 1.5 jobs per person. It's as if they expect you to work 50% more for the same pay it would seem in order to fill the gap.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Let them eat 1 cup noodles, I'm the finance Minister, what do you mean none of our targets have been met. Just a minute I need a smoke. Is that a new manga? Where's my hat? Work? Zzzzzzzz

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga is 69 years old. Was his salary cut by half 9 years ago? If not, I hereby propose he return 50% of the salary he's received since turning 60, in order to better understand the lives of ordinary people, living under laws that Suga and his cohorts control.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

These stats are misleading and I've posted about this before.

These stats are only related to jobs to applicants who fully meet the role requirements from a Japanese HR department. They are misleading because it sounds like there are 1.5 jobs available for everyone able to work in Japan.

As an example. If you are a working mother, if you are over the age of 39, if you are female, if you are not Japanese, if your CV is anyway deviates from the HR job spec, if your face does not fit the corporate profile, if you wear a navy or grey suit to interview instead of black, then you do not have 1.5 jobs available to you.

The reason why there are a surplus of jobs is because of the discrimination as detailed above. And the traditional recruitment agencies have always been hopeless in my experience - the independent headhunters are far more effective.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

what happens to 50% surplus jobs still unfilled ? one assumption can be: Being compensated by 50% more overtime work by already employed .

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Excellent news, that jobless rate is ridiculous. There are still major concerns over increasing unskilled temp and contract work, but the more important skilled and professional jobs are all filled and salaries increasing rapidly

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Companies are reluctant to hike wages partly because of uncertainty over their economic outlook...

That's hilarious. Profits are near record-highs, and the outlook has rarely been better. Companies are just a lot more greedy nowadays, while the two-tiered labor force allows them to get away with exploitation. Pure and simple.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The average monthly income of salaried households with two or more people marked a 0.4% year-on-year gain, up for a seventh straight month to 940,875 yen. Many Japanese workers receive winter bonuses at this time of year.

Can someone work this nonsense out? It seems like they are counting a bonus month.

941,000 yen per month is equivalent to an annual salary of 11 million yen, and that is in no way average. Even for a married couple that would mean the husband on 8 or 9 million and his wife on 2 or 3 million.  8 to 9 million is not average.

I think these muppets are including a bonus month.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

It seems like they are counting a bonus month.

It says it's a year-on-year gain, so December 2017 compared with December 2016, so yes, a bonus month for salaried workers (not for us free-lance/self-employed :-( )

Not an average month.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Thank you Cleo. Why cant they just report the annual average income for a married couple? Failing that, the average monthly income?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

People, just more smoke and mirrors to deflect any meaningful, actually facing the problems that are obvious for those of us who are not beauracracts or born into political comfort. Know your place work, work then die. All good smile, Bonzai, Bonzai, the whole premise of this argument is based on a false assumption. Just smile an touch your toes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan's labor crunch leads to tightest job market in 40 years

Tightest? Quit the BS, the job market as described here talks about University grads and not the people who are really looking for jobs.

University grads are becoming increasingly unemployable as they do not have any skills needed for the changing market here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

These stats are misleading...

BS and you know it

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why cant they just report the annual average income for a married couple? Failing that, the average monthly income?

They do. Go look at the website.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

940,875 yen Bull Dinky! Not an average Japanese monthly gross een if bonuses are tossed in.

...and, not just Sugu-kun. I would like to see if all of the other geriatric politicians had their salaries cut and forced to sign that after age 60 one year contract with really reduced wages.

Can anyone find that?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

They might be working, but 900-1,200 yen per hour for a 30-40 hour week is pretty hard to manage on and no benefits to speak of. I know a number of single mothers struggling, as well as families where the father only earns that much. They take second jobs, in shops and supermarkets, delivering papers, driving, piece work (neko no te), at even lower rates. The third and often final option is working in bars, clubs, fashion massage or delivery health services, or for the guys working maintenance, security, construction or cleaning up at nuclear power plants like Fukushima. They might bring in more money, but family time together is virtually non-existent.

It's no wonder that people here look at politicians as a totally different species of animal, who only come out at election time with their white gloves on, or when they want something.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Can someone work this nonsense out? It seems like they are counting a bonus month.

941,000 yen per month is equivalent

940,875 yen Bull Dinky!

You guys really need some help with your math. It is not that hard.

1st. The 940,875 yen figure is for a salaried household for 2 or more adults . So we divide: 940,875 by 2

The result is 470,437 for each adult in the house (assume only 2 adults in the house.) Now since it is a bonus month, the worker got a one month bonus. So we divide 470437 by 2. The result is 235,218 yen, which is the average monthly salary for a worker in Japan in Dec. 2017. 235218 is .04 higher than it was in Dec 2016, which was 225809.

To sum up the avg wage in Japan for Dec 2017 was 235,218 and Dec 2016 was 225,809.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The jobs still pay peanuts compared to the rest of the world.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Meanwhile the wages are stagnant. I haven't had a pay rise in three years, and my company is fairly large. Soon I will have no reason to stay in Japan if nothing changes.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

3 years no pay rise?, been here 10+ and salery has reduced, even with increasing my education level in my own time. Went home for a year and cut grass, was paid 25% more than here. Cutting grass!!! Family here so I believe the term is honey trapped.

Times have changed, politicians, company directors have not.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Someone posted as to why one reason is discrimination. True story.

2 individuals, both foreigners, one Asian the other non Asian. Both spoke fluent Japanese, better than a native, the scores were similar as well as education. The only tie breaker if a fair system would have been in experience, which went to the non Asian including certifications from Japan.  The job though did not go to the non-Asian and they hired the Asian simply because the company old guy felt it was not a good fit to have the non Asian in the company.  IN about 2 months the Asian that was hired quit the job and went back to country of origin? Why because of a better job offer. Did the company try to find the non Asian candidate, no they instead hired a person with less qualifications and this time when they didn't hire the non Asian the reason was well we hired a foreigner but that didnt' work out for us as the Japanese culture was too difficult and we feel that the candidate will not work out. So figure first the candidate is discriminated because of looks then blamed for the fault of the other foreigner. Long story short, the non-Asian ended up working at a noodle house. With this kind of treatment who wants to work for any Japanese company.  The foreigner is out before the job begins.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The Japanese people need to get organized and fight for higher wages. They should Strike if need be. Japanese Corporations need to clean up their acts, get rid of the dead wood and start paying their employees properly. As expensive as this country is I cannot believe wages are so low.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's not just foreign workers, actually the problem for companies is that young Japanese simply don't want what they are offering. They grew up watching dad get destroyed by a company that discarded dad when it suited the company. Never saw dad because he was always working. Wages suck, hours suck, holidays sure if you can bear the guilt from your co workers. It's no wonder people would rather stay in their room then face a work environment that requires subservience to a soul killing degree.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Let's report the average income of a household with two seishain (!) in a bonus month (!!). Who thinks that number is remotely indicative of anything?

Only 52% of women with children work, and only 8% of them are seishain. So that's 4% of women with children, a mighty 1 in 25. Japan is a conservative country where the basic assumption is two workers in a household must be married and marriage=children.

If you ever see average income or average household income values in Japan, remember that 70% of people don't make that much. The number is pushed higher by high earners. The median value, indicating where 50% make more and 50% make less, is much lower.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Companies are reluctant to hike wages partly because of uncertainty over their economic outlook

I have been hearing this BS since the 80s non-stop & not just in Japan but  worldwide, that said it is beyond dismal in Japan wrt to work, life(haha) & balance (forget about it!)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The article says salaried households of two or more people, not average household income. Considering the average age now in Japan, that number is entirely reasonable for regular salaried people.

It’s not part time people working at Mr. Donuts or Seven Eleven, which is a whole different story, since 40% of workers are no longer regular salaried workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Looks good only on the surface... low job rate is due to shrinking labor for force in Japan and most jobs in demand are temporary and low paying jobs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"We also aim to promote labor reform to curb long working hours and realize equal pay for equal work," the top government spokesman said at a press briefing.

Did he say that with a straight face?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like Fake News to me... I've been looking for work for ages, no takers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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