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Job availability in Japan hits fresh 44-year high in July

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"It's probable that the data is still distorted, and I expect the figure to continue rising for....

again worthless data. Yep there are lots of people a fair % who are working on contracts that pay just enough to buy a cup noodle. As the minister of finance recommend. Ohhh my.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

The ratio means there were 163 openings for every 100 job seekers

The problem with this data, is that it's too general.

If you search the same ratio for each job category, you will certainly find that there are more applicants than openings for white collar jobs, and a huge shortage of job seekers in the food industry for example.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

The jobless information here is unreliable as Japan artificially reports employment numbers.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

How about the pay?

Is that at a 44-year high too?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Excellent news! Jobs and growth are what the Abe government are all about. I hope eventually unemployment will be 0%.

-15 ( +1 / -16 )

Time for corporate Japan to open their MF wallets!

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@Ganbare Japan! - Excellent news! Jobs and growth are what the Abe government are all about. I hope eventually unemployment will be 0%.

I have to ask, have you applied for a job recently? My Mrs has been applying for jobs. Yes, there may very well be many jobs, but there are very few good ones. Here is an example of the kinds of jobs available. The company offers a full time salary of ¥350,000 per month, which includes 40 hours of mandatory overtime per month. What this means is, you are working an extra week per month for free. A standard wage for a full time senior company employee is around ¥350,000-¥400,000. So, these donkey's butts are requiring you to work overtime for free by including the overtime into the base salary. There are many of these kinds of contracts being offered. They are offering small salaries with mandatory overtime. So, this is how you build a strong economy. Make your staff work for free! A 100 years ago it was called, slavery. However, in Japan, it's common practice to be enslaved to a company and do 20% of your work for free.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

The company offers a full time salary of ¥350,000 per month, which includes 40 hours of mandatory overtime per month. What this means is, you are working an extra week per month for free. So, these donkey's butts are requiring you to work overtime for free by including the overtime into the base salary.

Well no, you're not working an extra week for free. You're being paid that extra week in your salary. And its not like 40 hours of overtime work is that bad. Its 2 hours a day. Come in an hour early, leave an hour late. Instead of 9-5 its not 8-6. Not that bad at all in my opinion.

It could be worse, you could be required to work 40 hours of overtime a week, and only have ¥200,000 per month pay.

Also is this ¥350,000 per month for a starting position? ¥4,200,000 a year for a starting position isnt half bad at all... And if its a senior position, well that company isn't paying enough for a senior position and you should move on.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

163 vacancies for every 100 job seekers? Nonsense figure. What kind of jobs? What sort of applicants do the employers want?

Most of the jobs available are zero hours contacts, low paid and in industries that treat the staff even worse than most other employers. Add on the fact that it is legal and acceptable to only advertise for applicants under 35, or for those able to work any shift at the drop of a hat, and the employment situation is dire for many people in this country.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

While it is good that there are jobs available, it is appalling that despite this wages for those jobs haven't increased (something you would normally expect if employers are actually desparate to fill positions). The vast majority of positions are either in low skill jobs (like convenience store clerks) or jobs which require skills but pay abysmally low rates (delivery truck drivers, nursing and elderly care workers).

It is worth noting that not a single prefecture in Japan, not even Tokyo, has a minimum wage rate over 1000 Yen (about 8$ US). Tokyo should take the lead on this and increase its minimum wage, which is ludicrously low in international comparison - even most American states have higher minimum wage rates.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

And its not like 40 hours of overtime work is that bad

It’s an absolute nightmare. In your chains and glad of them it seems. I like to have a life.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Population of Young generation and Workers have decreased in Japan year by year,

it mere reduce unemployment mathematically.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The extraordinary thing is how private sector employers cry about a labor shortage while refusing to offer decent pay to attract the workers they need, even while they rake in the highest profits in recorded history.

It's happening everywhere "neo-lib" style market economies have taken root, but the labor market distortion is really pronounced in Japan.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Do away with age discrimination and inadequate pay and those vacancies would soon be filled.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It’s an absolute nightmare. In your chains and glad of them it seems. I like to have a life.

As do I. And I gladly get to do that every weekend and the 30 days paid vacation I have a year. Along with all national holidays off. I consistently work 50 hours of overtime a month, and yet I still manage to have a life. But I suppose that changes if you actually enjoy doing your work. 40 hours a month isnt bad, if you actually enjoy the work you do. Otherwise yeah, I'll bite, its probably hell.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

@ksteer: I consistently work 50 hours of overtime a month

Nothing to brag about amigo. That is 24 full days of your life lost each year for nothing. I figured this out early on at a job where I voluntarily sat around for an extra hour for appearances. At the end of the day it had zero impact on my pay or longevity at the company. If I am done I go home.

20 ( +20 / -0 )

Data is definitely distorted.

take home pay is collapsing in most middle class jobs and hiring is easier than ever, especially for jobs around 4M -6M pay range. Many firms have plans or already initated lay offs or drastically lower pay with changes to HR system.

These are not signs of labor shortage but severe labor surplus particularly in the skilled labor force.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

All those part time temp jobs-great!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

As do I. And I gladly get to do that every weekend

I have the idea that I can enjoy free time in the week too. Things like dinner with my wife/friends, going for a swim, going to classes ( I go to piano classes on Tuesdays ) or just lounging about the house.

Thirty days paid vacation per year in a Japanese company? Really? Do you/can you use up all 30?

9 ( +9 / -0 )

The sadness still continues on employment, more jobs but wages same or less of decade ago. Govt. has no eyes anymore to higher wages labors up, only say to companies offer jobs...Who is gaining for this?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thanks to the various commetors for your insights. The item missing from the article was any mention of wage inflation.

If this was manipulation-free, then there would have to be wage inflation (a competitive company would have to pay more for talent). So the distortion of where the actual job openings are as well as some specifics on "baked-in overtime contracts" were helpful in understanding this counterintuitive "not enough workers!! " stream of news I keep seeing.

Another reason I enjoy reading comments on this sight.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@ ksteer

In 2016 the average wage for a J male in his 30s is ¥ 420.000 a month. How much remains as net wages?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Netgrump After paying for his housing, food and car expenses? Maybe 20,000.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

*Ⅰn 2016 the average wage for a J male in his 30s is ¥ 420.000 a month. How much remains as net wages?*

Doda has it at 4.55 million a year, so it could be lower. 70% get less than the mean number anyway.

https://doda.jp/guide/heikin/age/

Bintaro's point is the main one. There are countless openings for anyone who wants to work on a farm, in an old people's home, or clear up debris from the latest natural disaster. There aren't thousands of openings for good jobs. Luddite is right with the under 35 limit too. Young, pliable, and with no commitments is how they like em.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Doda has it at 4.55 million a year, so it could be lower. 70% get less than the mean number anyway.

The ¥ 420.000 I mentioned is a DODA figure for 2016 as the average salary...sooo how much are the net wages before housing, food, car, kids etc... ?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

approximately **

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

*Ⅰn 2016 the average wage for a J male in his 30s is ¥ 420.000 a month.*

The DODA link says the figures are for "business people" who are "regular" employees. .

*

正社員として就業している20~59歳までのビジネスパーソンの平均年収

Let me go out on a limb that the millions and millions of folks working in the high-growth industries of retail (combini cashiers) and other industries, construction and security would drag down that figure considerably.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let me go out on a limb that the millions and millions of folks working in the high-growth industries of retail (combini cashiers) and other industries, construction and security would drag down that figure considerably.

Sounds like it and that will suit the GDP per capita better.

https://resources.realestate.co.jp/living/average-salary-japan-occupation-age/

There's still a gap between men and women in other developed nations but the salary gap in Japan is amazing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hi Netgrump.

My figure was actually men and women combined, so in that sense it's wrong. The mean for a man in his 30s on the link I posted is 487万円 a year, in between our two figures.

In Japan 70% don't get the mean wage. The mean is skewed higher by high earners. Its another source but this article says that 64% of salarymen even are not on 5 million at 40.

https://www.eyasu2008.com/entry/2017/01/24/%E3%82%B5%E3%83%A9%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%9E%E3%83%B3%E5%B9%B4%E5%8F%8E%EF%BC%95%EF%BC%90%EF%BC%90%E4%B8%87%E5%86%86%E3%81%AE%E5%A3%81%E3%80%81%EF%BC%93%EF%BC%90%E4%BB%A3%E3%81%A7%E3%81%AF%EF%BC%93%EF%BC%96

Take the whatever percent of the population do not live within 50km of Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, or Nagoya, add in all the non-seishain, and it will get grimmer still. Oh, and women too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's still a gap between men and women in other developed nations but the salary gap in Japan is amazing.

I reckon the biggest gap will be between working mothers in Japan and working mothers in other developed countries.

In Japan, the percentage of mothers as seishain does not go up as the age of the youngest child increases. Hardly anyone employs middle-aged women without specific vocational qualifications (I'm thinking teachers, nurses, pharmacists, bookkeepers/accountants) as seishain. A large proportion of women with high school-aged kids work, but only one in four is a seishain. The rest are freeters, ignored by all these surveys.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ kohakuebisu

Thx for the information and link [although I don't read/speak Japanese].

Another aspect is that even when you're a high earner you're facing an included amount of overtime. The latest gov ruling that overtime should be limited to 100 hours a month sounds still ridiculous in Western ears.

I belief that Japan has no choice than hiring more women as 'seishain' and narrowing the salary gap between the genders. For a significant number of years is the percentage of [younger] women with a tertiary education higher than for same age men. [a global trend as to seems] I wouldn't be surprised that this also the case on other levels.

Using the female potential should have the highest priority next to hiring hi-educated foreign workers and next to advanced automation and robotics.

With a larger labor force and automation the next hurdle could be fixing the amounts of overtime.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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