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Japan's jobless rate hits 25-year low; labor shortages remain a concern

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Everyone in Japan who wants job now has one. Thank Abenomics.

-21 ( +5 / -26 )

Japan's unemployment rate fell to the lowest level in more than 25 years in May in the latest sign of a strengthening economy

Just because the jobless rate is low does not show a strengthening economy. It only shows a shrinking workforce. It should also be noted that over 60% of those employed in Japan are now on short-term or part-time low-paying contracts. This statistic shows a weakening of the economy, not a strengthening.

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Since the number of jobs has dropped according to the article, this is everything to do with a shrinking workforce and nothing to do with job creation.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

¥800 an hour, I'm rushing out for that, that's a bag of cup noodles....nothing quite like poverty with cup noodles.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Yeah, right! If you include all the guys with glow-wands directing people around cones or waving people into car parks!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Booming? I checke!, Japan has the lowest basic salary in the Developed world despite being the third biggest economy. My son in law has 3 children and earns less than¥ 200,000 a month, granted its a black company but they are the future. I help because it's family I think obscene is the word for today.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Ha ha I'm not the only one, it's a group thing like ants, say anything and apparently it's a attack on the group. Even pointing out the blatantly obvious becomes bashing. To those who feel I'm bashing Japan....use Google you might be surprised.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Yes, less applicants for jobs because so many are poorly paid or part time etc.  and plenty of the yoof don't buy into a lot of our warped work culture.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japanese economy is good now because world economy is good. Japanese economy is influenced by the world economy greatly since our economy is export oriented - very fragile. When the world economy turns down, Japan is the first to be affected.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

" Japan has the lowest basic salary in the Developed world despite being the third biggest economy."

Really?The GDP per Capita, in Japan, when adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity is equivalent to 215 percent of the world's average.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

I agree with econstats 100%. Things are ticking along nicely here under Abenomics. PM Abe and Kuroda-san have found the right policy mix for these times, and it is bearing fruit in the job market. All people who want to work, can get a job. 2.2% is Unbelievable. Lowest in the OECD. Stay the course, PM Abe and Cabinet.

-14 ( +0 / -14 )

Yup. Lots of work available. Can't deny it. My missus is doing a bit of service zankyo as I type this. Hooray for Abenomics.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Oh. I forgot to add she's quitting tomorrow - partly because of the low pay / overtime. Another one to add to the 290,000 who left the workforce. Hold on...I'm onto something here. If they pay / treat people better there wouldn't be a shortage?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Dr. econstats and Mr. Ganbare Japan!

I would like to ask your high opinions. Japan cannot continue the low interest rate forever and when the interest rate begins going up, what would happen? Are they issuing more bonds to cover increased interests? We are booming now putting aside our red-ink finance. Abe and Kuroda cannot stay in their positions forever. Inflation which was expected to happen to lessen financial debts is not happening. During the time of Edo, debt ridden daimyo announced "Tokuseire" and "Okotowari" to bilk their debts. Is it possible today?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

With the dankai sedai (Japanese baby boomers) hitting retirement age vastly outnumbering the number of college graduates, it is not surprising that the labour market is tight. Due to simple demographics, the working age population, calculated in Japan as 15 to 64 I think, is falling by about 900,000 a year.

If employers struggling to get workers, perhaps they could create openings for women with children that have family friendly hours and pay proper wages without exploiting the women as dependent spouses. This country has millions of well-educated women whose talents are either wasted or exploited in low paid jobs.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

shouldn't wages be going up then?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

If a company replaces one full-time employee with two part-time employees, it will save money as it will not have to pay many of the benefits that have to be paid to full-time employees. Also part-timers are paid at a lower hourly rate and are easier to lay off.

I admit this is an oversimplification, but it does explain the situation. Jobs for life are being replaced by part-time jobs. There may be plenty of jobs, but they are not the same. If there really is a labour shortage, companies could solve this by giving some of their part-timers full-time jobs.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Raise wages and quit age discrimination and you will find plenty of workers.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Free market economists say: Supply goes down, demand goes up and prices go up! In this case: Labour shortage, demand up, but no change in pay. No wonder there is Labour shortage and it will remain so.

Apparently, a pie(a job) is cut into 3 and being sold to 3 people just adding up number of pieces of the same pie. Unfortunately, no one is ready to buy(unless one comes who is super hungry!)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Job centers are busy. A lot of the jobs are low paid & part time. And.... if you're Foreigner, a lot of the jobs ask for "Native Japanese" as a pre-requisite... Japan is the only Country in which you can legally get away with such discrimination.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It's not even wages stay the same! It was only a week or so ago that in a story about the lack of inflation, it was revealed that compared to about a decade ago, the average worker's purchasing power in Japan has actually DROPPED by (I think) the equivalent of 9,000 yen a month.

And it's any wonder why the Japanese economy isn't growing? That if you look at the domestic economy, it's actually shrinking?

Yeah, good job Dear Leader Abe. Your economic policies are doing just wonderful.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I answered an ad which was surprisingly welcoming (foreigners welcome! seniors! high pay!). First hurdle was a short paragraph as to how I would be an asset to the company. Second was CV review. Third was an invitation for a face to face interview. I don't know how many more hurdles there were. The company was looking hire around 3 to 5 people and they were swamped with applications.

If the economy was thriving like in the bubble era, employers wouldn't be inundated with applicants. Employers would be throwing in benefits like crazy; work for us and you'll get a trip to Bangkok! (ha, ha...) You'll finish at 5 on the dot! (ha, ha, ha)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

".nothing quite like poverty with cup noodles."

Cup noodles are way more expensive by weight than potatoes or carrots.

"You'll finish at 5 on the dot!"

Hee hee! Good one, Den Tok!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

*Really?The GDP per Capita, in Japan, when adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity is equivalent to 215 percent of the world's average*

Among developed countries. When it comes to disposable income, Japan rates among the lowest of developed economies. With food, energy, materials, and many finished goods being imported, a weak yen and tariffs drive up prices, and the cost of living. Japanese spend three times as much as Americans for food, and more than twice as Europeans.

An overpriced economy pushes down the population and consumption. These push down sales, profits, and wages, even as the labor market tightens.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Everyone in Japan who wants job now has one. Thank Abenomics.

What a dopey statement. Clearly the imbalance in jobs offered to job seekers is due to the reduction in workers. Also many of those jobs are horrible, working in 7-11 for example that pays slave wages. Companies are not paying more for labor, they are paying less. That trend has continued for decades now. Hence Abe bringing in low cost labor imports pretending to be students. It is sad. That is your Abenomics for you. Just like Reaganomics, a fraud.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Really?The GDP per Capita, in Japan, when adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity is equivalent to 215 percent of the world's average.

Very misleading.

Anyone who is interested can look at the rankings here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Japan has the world's third largest economy, but ranks 28th, 22nd, or 31st in the world in terms of GDP per capita adjusted for PPP depending on the year-range, as shown in the chart on the page.

Similar data can be found here: https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/gdp-per-capita-ppp

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No mention of where the shortages are most extreme. Given the low productivity of the white collar sector, it's unlikely to be there. Shortages are still probably the trades and low/no skill labor.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The other thing not mentioned, never mentioned, about employment in Japan is the number of people who have stopped trying to find employment (probably adds 2%) and the number of women still not participating in the economy.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

If there were a true labor shortage, then employers would be paying higher wages.

The same trend is seen in other advanced countries. Low unemployment with stagnant wages, a distortion of the supply and demand dynamic.

The agenda of the corporate elite is to undercut local labor by substituting it with cheaper labor from overseas. They conspired with governments to destroy or take away the power of labor unions a couple of decades ago, and this is the latest part of the strategy - to complain about a non-existant labor shortage.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

What kind of job ? With Abe at PM job for 5 years, no one can touch his bottom line.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If there were a true labor shortage, then employers would be paying higher wages.

Bingo!

The agenda of the corporate elite is to undercut local labor by

substituting it with cheaper labor from overseas. They conspired with

governments to destroy or take away the power of labor unions a couple

of decades ago, and this is the latest part of the strategy - to

complain about a non-existant labor shortage.

Double bingo!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What Jeff said. If there's an argument to be made against immigration or for more limited immigration, this is it. Spare me talk of gangs or Muslims or entitlements. But for us to have that conversation, we'd have to have a discussion about class, which is verboten.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe it's the shrinking workforce, not the unemployment rate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, I think after 12 months or so, you're no longer counted in the unemployment figures.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japanese economy is good now because world economy is good. Japanese economy is influenced by the world economy greatly since our economy is export oriented - very fragile. When the world economy turns down, Japan is the first to be affected.

All export orientated economies are following the state of the world economy.

Export makes up 16.1 % [2017] of the GDP of Japan compared to 46.1 % for Germany, 19.6 % for China or 11.9% for the US.

So which economy will be 'affected' first? :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

f employers struggling to get workers, perhaps they could create openings for women with children that have family friendly hours and pay proper wages without exploiting the women as dependent spouses. This country has millions of well-educated women whose talents are either wasted or exploited in low paid jobs.

Exactly, start with hiring women first, trying to treat them as equal before thinking about hiring foreigners.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well here's one Foreigner that's not getting hired :-( so whatever these Government figures state, it's meaningless to me and the many others I see (Japanese) looking for work. A lot are Women, and Mid-aged, and sadly may Seniors are also looking for work. This is the real state of the Economy, the side of things, most here who're working do not see.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well dear 'Foreigner not getting hired' what's wrong with hiring mid aged women or seniors? In the transition to more advanced automation employers have to use experienced baby boomers. In Europe you've nations moving towards the Japanese situation so in that light are these developments interesting.

Hiring millennials is another thing. Despite being 'high educated' they often don't deliver the expectations. There's no generation that faced so many burn outs what probably has to do with the inability to deliver or going for to many goals.

In my home country we've thousands of expat workers not only because of expertise but more often for the combination of expertise and cheaper labor.

MNC's diminish ICT departments and outsource them to Indian contractors.

Hope that you get what you're looking for. :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Very misleading. 

Anyone who is interested can look at the rankings here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita

Japan has the world's third largest economy, but ranks 28th, 22nd, or 31st in the world in terms of GDP per capita adjusted for PPP depending on the year-range, as shown in the chart on the page.

You're right about the figures but sengetsu03 mentions ' 215% of the world average'

On 'your list' you can see that Japan equals France or the UK in terms of PPP.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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