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Many will be left behind when job market picks up

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Wow. At the rate of job losses the author is writing about, there will only be a staff of 10 working at the AP in four years.

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I'll always have a job as will anyone else who is educated, hardworking and most importantly not too fussy.

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The death of the middle class should scare everyone. The vast majority of people forced from the middle class will become poor. The very few forced upwards will become part of a small elite class. This kind of broad division was largely evaporated in the 20th century but the state of the world for all of the preceeding time.

We have, in just a few years, allowed the work of generations to better the conditions of workers and to create a midcle class to be undone and lost.

Why? Simply put, the world bought into a lie in the 80's. This lie that big business was good, individual success all that mattered and greed. Workers bought into the idea that they could rise from worker to elite and they allowed that illusion to drive them give up labor protections, leave behind protective unions and organization and instead isolate themselves for their own objectives.

Now the reality is here. Corporate greed has won, the rich are richer, the workers under greater control and pressure and the return of the imbalance between haves and have nots is back to stay again.

The greatest tragedy is that it will take generations again to undo this new state of affairs and to once again empower a middle class to rise.

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proudnippon. "I'll always have a job as will anyone else who is educated, hardworking and most importantly not too fussy."

Proud words. But words you may one day have to eat. I will remind you of the great depression, of past wars and of long periods in history where even the educated suffered.

But there are a lot of well educated and motivated people out there who cannot get work as we speak. And not for lack of trying or for being too fussy. Unless you are ok working as a janitor after being a mid level manager.

I'd like to see you support your family and lifestyle on MacD wages after living 20+ years in the middle class.

You need a lesson in humility and reality. No one is immune from change.

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proudnippon. A good name. Pride comes before a ....?

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Proudnippon.

Your idea is good and sound in theory.

Many people have lost their jobs even though they were well-educated, worked hard, etc and many found it hard having to learn or retrain for a new position at age 35, 40, 45, etc.

I quit my industry even though it paid very well but it also had increased stress, more demands/longer hours and job security/advancement became non-existent as the company tried to replace all full-time staff with temps or contractors.

Learned a new profession at age 40 and it wasn't easy, making less now as the new jobs don't pay as well. Same time I got more time for Family, etc.

In my case I made the decision in most cases the decision is made for you.

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Forgot to add.

New jobs and lower pay and still got the same loans, mortgages, etc to pay. Never mind the family probs when wife can't get her new shoes/dress or kids can't have the latest game.

Right now things are not looking good worldwide and we might become the guys/gals holding down 2 part-time jobs to pay the dues, those same guys/gals we laughed at on the way to work.

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Wage convergence in action...

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Americans are programmed to worship the rich. All the Oooo's and Ahhh's from the poor and middle class over shows on the tele that go on and on about rich people's wealth and material possessions.

Extreme communism doesn't work (russia), extreme capitalism (survival of the fittest) doesn't work (usa).

The best countries in the world strike a balance between the two. The best countries in the world also have smaller, more manageable populations.

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"Extreme communism doesn't work (russia)"

You mean extreme state capitalism. We have never seen anything resembling true socialism or communism. Only state capitalism called "communism". If you read the models of socialist societies, it is clear none have ever existed.

The propaganda machine of the cold war very effectively slandered socialist systems by calling the repressive state capitalist nations of the Soviet Union and the PRC as "communist" when in fact they were not.

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Even when a job market picks up, many people will be left behind.

so why bother with a recovery. no need.

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Proudnippon: I hope you are under 40 if looking for work in the future!

I would love to have a full time job with all the benefits but just isn't going to happen, I run my own business and it has been an up and down ride and right now no mater how hard I work it is mostly down .

I just finished a contract with a once very large Japanese company and will not get paid for months because there is so little work these days that they can dictate payment terms, but I am not complaining seeing that in the last 3 years they fired or retired nearly 80% of their staff in Japan and my latest job was to make it that they could fire another 100 people, many of these people are in their 40's and will not find new work.

If you just go to Internet job sites or "hello work" you will find that most jobs state "Under 40" and the automated Job sites block you from even trying to apply based on your birth date.

I know a smart 55 year old Waseda graduate who speaks 3 languages with children in University, his employer went bankrupt 2 years ago and he has not found any work he is now one of those annoying people who ring your door bell to try and sell you a newspaper subscription.

And don't bother with "haken companies" this is the one time being a man in Japan is not good, "Haken companies" will hire older ladies but no way will they hire older men! the reasoning is that they cannot take orders form younger men.

One more thing to remember is that once the middle class is gone or cut down, WHO will be buying the products that keep the executives in their positions?

The investors and owners will still make money but they will soon realize they don't need all those "well educated hardworking" upper/middle executives.

Just like the company I just mentioned above all they will need is a good IT system and cheap overseas outsourcing!

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limboinjapan. Your handle says it all. And your post is most insightful.

I am one of the lucky over 40's with a reasonable job. But I live in constant worry over what will happen to life here if the job ends one day. As jobs eventually do.

We've talked about starting out own little biz, but the prospects are dire. I am also a performer so I can turn to that for some income since what I do is very, very rare world wide, and yet in demand. But age means I don't want to take up a life on the road just to eat.

Bottom line, workers and consumers need to align themselves NOW and start fighting back against this trend. As you said "who will buy their products?" I think few are thinking that far ahead. For now they just think about tomorrow's stock price. Long term thinking is a rare quality now.

So when we neo-poor can no longer afford anything, what will happen to the companies? They will start to fail and more of their lower rich will join our ranks among the neo-poor.

We have to vote with our wallets now, demand jobs and redistribute wealth so that we can retain a middle class. Or we are lost and heading back to a new form of dark ages where there are extreme rich ruling over legions of extreme poor.

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If you just go to Internet job sites or "hello work" you will find that most jobs state "Under 40" and the automated Job sites block you from even trying to apply based on your birth date.

I find it absolutely outrageous that the first bit of information the government employment site asks for is AGE. Then they filter the openings you get to see.

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Common worldwide. Age-group 35/40~65/70 is the hardest to find a job.

Also many haken companies will only employ women. One guy told me honestly unless I am Young, Female, under 35 jobs are tough, even part-time. Over 40, Foreigner, single dad = no luck even with good Japanese, good company history and solid training/experience.

If you look at job-ads(especially for part-time work) most want young, female, single, Freeter, etc.

Why they are cheap and easy to be fired. McJobs have penetrated all Industries now.

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For all those that talk about capitalism and the markets dictate, you should look at what's really going on.

The stock markets were put in place so companies could get investment and those investing could make money.

Today we have massive supper computers programmed to buy and sell in the millisecond making money for those who have the computer but nothing for the companies who's stocks they have just traded or any benefits to the economy!

These are the new reality soon we will see a lot of the markets completely crash as companies struggle to find funds to expand or even maintain their status quo and will will see larger numbers of so-called executives and traders also fall along with the markets.

This is just logical, how can you expect a human trader to compete with a super computer buying, selling and canceling faster then he or she can press a button.

What is even worse is the programing and even the parts for these super computers are done in lower wage countries, where the middle class earn perhaps $3000 a year!

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I'll always have a job as will anyone else who is educated, hardworking and most importantly not too fussy.

I understand that anyone can have A job if they are educated and hardworking, but can any job support your family? especially if you have kids still in school? Sure there are jobs available at convenience stores, restaurants and etc, but for those who worked hard and who are educated-- with house payments and kids schooling -- can they support their families with the 800yen per hour jobs? And especially for women/mothers who have small kids, those jobs are not always available as public daycares are not available for everyone.

It is easy to say you can get a job if you are not fussy, but open your eyee and see the reality. It's good that you are proud and have confidence, but look outside of your comfort zone before making comment like you did.

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If you live in Tokyo, you can find a part-time job that pays 1100 yen an hour. Work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that's around 200,000. That's not much, but enough for one person to survive on.

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bicultural-

yeah, but what about mothers with small children? when they are fired, their kids cannot go to public daycare anymore and cannot go to gakudo, either.. then she cannot work part time, either. also, often part timers work shift schedule and they cannot work 5 days a week and cannot work 8 hours (employers say no).

and if someone has 2 part time jobs, then it is probably possible to make 200,000yen per month, but for those who have kids in school (high school, college) and have house payment and etc, their life changes dramatically.. for those who used to make good money and suddenly have to live with 200,000yen, they might have to sell their house, if their kids go to private school, might have to transfer them to public school, etc etc..

still, yes, it is possible to eat 3 meals every day with the 200,000yen, but then again, I'm feeling badly for those women with 2 part time jobs with no benefit after losing a full time job.

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bicultural.

Yes, those jobs are there. Ever tried to get hired for one? They want young single, female(preferably good-looking), experienced first of all.

Middle-aged people or single parents are lucky to land a job at McD or a shop like Yusawaya working the floor.

And agree with Fishy part-time involves shift-work, so who looks after the kid and cooks its supper while the parent is working?

Any time taken of for childs sickness, school-meetings(if possible) is unpaid and those jobs DON'T come with medical and pension, thus lowering the salary more as you need to cover medical for TWO, etc.

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bicultural: "If you live in Tokyo, you can find a part-time job that pays 1100 yen an hour. Work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, that's around 200,000. That's not much, but enough for one person to survive on."

First like you said at that rate you cannot pay for anyone but yourself and in this article as with most comments here we seem to be talking about people who lost or will lose their jobs and not a single new graduate.

Second I don't know what kind of jobs you are referring to at ¥1100 and hour but as far as I have seen these places do not hire older individuals.

Can you honestly tell me that any of these jobs will hire a 45~50 year old former "salary man"!

I can just see it now 50 year old man walks in to a "family restaurant" looking for a job 30 year old manager says "sorry the age limit is 40 because of heavy lifting"!

And ¥1,100 is usually reserved for night shift!

And don't start posting adds from "Haken companies" they do not place men very often and never older men ( I know this first hand I used to work in one of Japan's lager Hakens)!

Before making statements go and ask about those jobs, go to "hello Work" read the adds.

Even English teaching jobs have the same thing, if it's not written in the job add then you will receive a reply "sorry but we are looking for someone a little more energetic" translation YOUNG.

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@bicultural:

BTW "part time" means just that! There is no way they will let you work 8 hours a day because then that becomes full time and they have to pay you benefits.

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bicultural clearly has limited responsibilities and little grounding in what life in Tokyo is really like.

First everyone else is right, if you are female, kawaii and young no problem working part time to make 200,000 to support your life living at home with parents. But apply that to a family? No way.

So here is a little reality for you. I know at least five women in their mid 30's with strong office and technical skills, more than one language skill and web experience. Yet when all lost their jobs two years ago, not one has been able to replace it with similar income. They are told they are too old, may be married soon or some other lame excuse.

These are independent women living on their own, or at least were so.

Apply the same to older men and the situation gets even harder.

The economic reality in much of the western world now is that people with once good jobs are now on the edge. Those who fall over have very little chance of getting back to where they were. Many will keep falling. This is the reality bicultural. One you need to wake up to mate.

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I have lived on my own for many years in Tokyo, have experienced 3 jobs, now I support my wife and her family on my income. Yes, I know life in Tokyo isn't a piece of cake. My 30+ female friend quit her job as a manager of a store in a department store. She had to spend 4 months finding her next job. However, she also turned down 2 job offers and was only looking in one area of employment. My point is, you can still survive in Tokyo if you're willing to compromise (and if you get along with your family). The 1100 yen was from a sign I saw at a gyudon shop in Tokyo. Night shift was 1375 yen. Ever seen old guys working in the kitchen at those places before? I have, and they sure weren't managers.

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Point is that it isn't ok to replace middle income jobs with poorly paid labor jobs without some impact upon society as a whole. Think it through. Those middle income jobs support the staff at the cinema, the cafe, the supermarket, the barber shop, the local retailers. Remove these jobs and there is a cascade effect that will cost others their jobs.

Every time we lose someone from the middle class that has impact on that person's capacity to use services and to consume. The more people this happens to the more impact. Later it will cost the jobs of people who once earned a living supporting middle class workers. That means there will be pressure on you Gyudon shop to cut staff or reduce wages. And the cycle spirals down from there.

It is easy to say what you are saying bicultural as long as you don't think of the broader picture. So let's think about more consequences.

Tax payments to the government decline as the number of middle class tax payers declines. Those who don't recover jobs may also place added burden on already struggling systems. And may be unable to pay for government services as they did before. All resulting in greater government cost and strain.

There are health care consequences from stress, from changes in lifestyle and work habits. Not to mention the fact that people with little money tend to wait longer to see medical attention, often inviting greater medical costs and additional burden on the system.

There are cuts in spending by families on education which has long lasting impact upon the ability of the next generation to become productive and well employed. Have you ever heard of the cycle of poverty?

Sure you can get by on that cheap job and avoid living under a bridge somewhere, but your capacity to support the nation, to take care of your family and yourself have far reaching consequences for you and for society as a whole.

Your dismissive attitude is naive at least bicultural. You need to see the trees in the social forest beyond the one you have your nose on.

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In a situation like this and the nation is expecting for couples to have kids. Population, tax income and household income/living standards all have a direct connection with one another. I wish the government realize this.

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tkoind2, I understand and agree with all of your points. As a skilled worker, I personally have a choice of being employed or starting my own business (I'm leaning on the latter). Some people don't have a choice. They could either be picky and not find a job, or they could compromise for now and get a job just to make money to get by. Perhaps my gyudon example was a bit extreme.

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But getting by isn't really the issue is it? Sustainable employment and the preservation of the middle class are key here.

Sure you can start a business, but who will your clients be? If the middle class diminishes that takes a huge bite out of the population who spend and demand services. For skilled workers like you, that means fewer clients who will be developing services and products. It also means greater pressure on you and others to work for less. Long term that spells doom even for highly skilled workers.

If the societal impact is not enough to scare you, the threat to your own economic future should.

We need to fight to preserve and support a middle class working culture in Japan and elsewhere.

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bicultural: What do you exactly mean by "compromise" and "(and if you get along with your family)"?!

Do you mean not having a vacation in the past 8 years only buying the bare necessities being late on almost all your bills or do you mean living with your in-laws not paying rent and no children to support!

I have been here 19 years seen all sorts come and go. In the past even some foreigners could hope to get a real job and retire in Japan, but today that is a fantasy a pipe dream, it is even getting to the point that even the Japanese are no longer assured of a retirement.

I survive here, my own countries laws keep me here till my children are adults and by that time I will be even to old to start over if I do return.

The point is yes, we can "SURVIVE" but what is the point of surviving if the chances of bettering your situation do not exist?

You say you are a "skilled worker" and are leaning toward your own business, well I to am a skilled worker and have 3 licence's to prove them but that does not help me when as it is now no one has the money to purchase my services.

I know work at a despicable job and that is collecting information and selling that information and often using that information for "restructuring" companies (basically I go in I make changes and they fire a lot of people) How nice isn't it! but do I have a choice? yes, if I don't want to feed my children.

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2014? That's another 4 years of no jobs, no money, no food (and we won't talk about healthcare - have to be either an illegal alien or in jail to qualify for that). And the real estate job market has tanked? Used to be when most professional jobs tanked - we could go sell real estate to survive and maintain some semblance of professionalism - now even that's gone.

Of course - the US imports/exports over USD 40 billion a year in recreational drugs, soooo.....

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So why are millions of Asian immigrants still so desparate to come to the U.S.? With a shrinking middle class, America is less and less a land of opportunity, right? So what's in it for Asians, particularly if they come from China or South Korea, where economic growth is nearly 10 percent a year and the middle class is exploding in size? I don't get it.

Have they been brainwashed that America is actually a land of opportunity?

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I think that many people will be left/are being left with just 2 choices, crime or suicide. What a wonderful world. A few rich elite and the rest of us are just worrying everyday. What's the point in it all?? A hundred years from now, none of us will be here anyway. If things go wrong for me I'll just take pills and leave this planet.

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Damn, WMD! Don't you get that's the too-easy-way! My mom did "that" 2 years ago and she has left a mess of a family and a broken left behind husband - my father. If anybody here is smart enough to understand all those circumstances, then better stick to your lifes. Remember what happened after the last big recession; we've had a world war! You can loose your life easier than you think and at a time when you definitely want to keep it. So don't post comments like that.

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hahahaha, yes to all the questions above. I have had about 15 jobs in my life so far, never had a day unemployed. because I have a lot of skills am very well educated and NOT FUSSY.

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proudnippon- well, good for you, but we're not really asking about YOU.. put yourself in others' shoes.. let's say if you are a mother of 2 small children? let's say if you had a house payment of 150,000yen every month and had 3 family members to support -- sure, being not fussy and educated, you can get A job to support yourself but the more you have, the more difficult to support everything that comes with you (not you). again, it is easy for anyone to get A job to support oneself --we're talking about ones with families to support. and we (people here) have a job / jobs and we are doing fine supporting ourselves and families, but we are all putting ourselves in shoes of those who are having problems.

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i never bought into the personal responsibility propaganda myself, but it's evident to all now that this crisis is systematic in nature and there can be no solutions to it on an individual level. i.e. work at yoshinoya type!

lack of empathy on the part of insulated few notwithstanding, i would say it is a fact that jobs paying living wages have largely been terminated, never to return. i speak both from personal experience, and from what i gather from other people when i say this.

resulting fall in material standards of living, however deploring, is not in itself the worst that will befall the civilization. with it it inevitably brings regresses in spiritual and moral fields as well. as we have less and less we tend to succumb to negative feelings like insecurity, fear, greed, suspicion of others (especially markedly different people) and this in turn leads to corrosion of human and moral mores we came to think of as firmly established. you can see this in whipping up of anti-immigrant, muslim or roma etc. passions being stirred in "the west" nowadays. in the end we might easily proceed to first beggar thy neighbor and then dog eat dog international policies as seen many times before.

we need solidarity, empathy, imagination, grasp of the bigger picture now more than ever. we must not be divided again by petty considerations of the past: religion, nations, race etc. these problems are the same in nature and very similar in appearance all over the world. they have the same source and painful conclusions have to be made already before another decent into barbarism enflames the globe.

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JeffLee has hit it on the nose. There's no point for Asians to immigrate to the US anymore. The US is a dying country with no economic future and job prospects. Best to stay in Asia. Europe is probably just as bad as the US, if not worse.

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Proudnippon, get ready for a fall. It'll happen for sure.

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do you mean living with your in-laws not paying rent

uh limbo, I SUPPORT my in-laws on my salary. I'm paying off their housing loan AND giving money for food, utilities, etc.

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There's no point for Asians to immigrate to the US anymore

So true. But Americans are still convinced that the whole world wants a green card.

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Thanks to Reid Pelosi and Obama millions of jobs have left the US and will never be coming back.

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I used to think a bit like you, Proudnippon. Surely, with my education, experience etc., I'd be alright.

Been out of work for a year, now.

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Interesting, a professor from the UofT? Funny they went to a Canadian university to inquire about a (mostly) American problem.

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proudnippon- well, good for you, but we're not really asking about YOU.. put yourself in others' shoes..

no, but I'm talking about ME(person here) imagining I'm a mother of 3 children with a 150,000 yen monthly mortgage? Imagine I am a blue plastic sheet tent dweller in hibiya park. err no. so yeah, good for me. I was talking about me by the way.

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I used to think a bit like you, Proudnippon. Surely, with my education, experience etc., I'd be alright. Been out of work for a year, now.

because you are fussy and/or lazy. I could get you a job in 5 minutes in Kashiwa city.

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Proudnippon, get ready for a fall. It'll happen for sure.

no it won't. I'm not so far up my arse with expectations of life on a silver platter that I'll notice a fall. comfort is enough.

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proudnippon; try getting a job in 5 minures where i live. And no i am not unempoyed and never have been in Japan.

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proudnippon- my goodness, you're not fussy but you seem so bitter. you've had 15 jobs, well, good for you, it means you had to change your job every year or two? dont know how old you are, but i mean, geez.. and i think you've misunderstood what i meant.. i knew you were taling about you, i wasn't. and you missed what i said.. i said, anyone can get A job. it isn't difficult to get A job if you are not fussy, i agree with you, but what i mean is it isn't easy to get a job that you can support yourself AND your families/house while taking care of children.

try finding a job in 5 minutes in Kashiwa that someone who has a house payment of 150,000yen/month and has 3 small children.

and you say you are educated? well, i hope you don't mean you have a university degree, because i am sure over 90% of people here on this thread already have at least one university degree, so if you say you are educated based on your degree, then that's not something that'd impress people.

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proudnippon.

pls, share your secret to finding a job in 5 minutes there are tons of people in "Hello Work", etc who would like to be in on the secret, both here and overseas.

And I don't mean just any job but a job that will support them and their families(if in existence), etc.

And I agree a job-history of 15jobs is not that hot and will disqualify from many jobs automatically.

As for educated most employers want to know WHAT you can do RIGHT out of the box for them, degrees are good to open doors for your 1st or 2nd job at the most after that what matters is what you can deliver.

This is coming from someone that has hired many workers.

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Zenny-

And I don't mean just any job but a job that will support them and their families(if in existence), etc.

Exactly!! I think proudnippon was just talking about A job.. Sure it is easy to get a conveni job or skylark waitress job and etc, but can that job support the family and everything that comes with it (kids education, house, etc), it is a simple question but he somehow ignored it and kept saying it is easy to get A job if you are not fussy.

There is a good reason why people get fussy (if I borrow his word).. There are people who cannot work night time (kids at home and etc) and there are people who are working at those conveni, family restaurant, supermarket and etc in order to find THE RIGHT JOB.

and right, 15 jobs -- at least in Japan, that doesn't look so attractive if he was so honest to put that on his resume. I bet he wouldn't, though. I wouldn't be proud of having that many jobs at my age.

As for educated most employers want to know WHAT you can do RIGHT out of the box for them, degrees are good to open doors for your 1st or 2nd job at the most after that what matters is what you can deliver.

Again, you are right, Zenny ... University degree, or even master's degree isn't rare these days.. I have a university degree from a japanese university and also my second BA from France, and sure it helped me get into that door but after that, degree wouldn't help. It is all up to your real ability.

And I would certainly not call those who are having hard times finding the right job lazy.. Everyone is different, all are in different situations and put them in one same category and call them lazy is just wrong.

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bitter? are you having a laugh? I'm just sick of whiners. I had 5 jobs before I was 16 and have been in the same job and company now for nearly 12 years. now 38 years old. I was a nurse 13 years ago but didnt like night shifts so I changed.

Sure it is easy to get a conveni job or skylark waitress job and etc, but can that job support the family and everything that comes with it (kids education, house, etc), it is a simple question but he somehow ignored it and kept saying it is easy to get A job if you are not fussy.

where did I ever talk about YOU and your predicament? I didnt ignore it, you just imagined I cared about it. I was talking about ME.

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finding the right job

there, you missed my point from the first post.

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University degree, or even master's degree isn't rare these days.. I have a university degree from a japanese university and also my second BA from France, and sure it helped me get into that door but after that, degree wouldn't help. It is all up to your real ability.

again, missed the the mark. where did I talk about degrees? yeah I have a BA, MA and several other qualifications in 3 totally different fields. BUT all I said before you got your knickers in a twist was that I can always find a job because I am educated, HARD WORKING and not fussy. tell me, what is wrong with that? what else does a person need to get a job? who are you blaming exactly?

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it isn't difficult to get A job if you are not fussy, i agree with you,

good, thanks. now read the article again with that thought in mind and ponder on why I posted in the first place. how many of the 'workers' of the world pay 150,000 yen a month on their house? what percentage do you reckon that is? dunno? well, I'll tell you...less than 5% and that is a very generous estimate. stop whinging about how you have it so bad. go work in madagascar picking vanilla pods for 2 dollars a day. we are lucky we have the pick of so many jobs, yes working in a combini is a great job if you open your eyes.

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@proudnippon:

I am glad you are in the same job for 12 years, I was also in the same "Job" business for around that amount of time but that ended and not due to anything I could have controlled, unfortunately I was over 40 at that time (this is the same situation for many of my Japanese acquaintances) and once you are over 40 in Japan just look at job adds they almost all say under 40 only!

And don't think the ones that don't write under 40 are actually hiring over 40 Japanese companies are direct when you go to apply they look and say strait to your face "sorry you are to old" foreign companies are more subtle they reply "we are looking for someone a little more energetic".

I've done my time as a headhunter, recruiter and "haken" company coordinator (all as contracted no benefits commission based "itaku" worker) and I know all the lingo used, unless you are a hot shot MBA in line for those ¥20 million a year job once you are over 40 then you are out of luck for a job that can support your family and it is not your McDonald or Yoshinoya part time job that will pay for your child's ¥3 million a year University tuition let alone basic living expenses.

Even those construction site where you see the old men waving traffic on, will not hire you because they fear if you end up staying more then 3 months and work more than 40 hours a week they will have to make you an employee with benefits (that's the law) so they hire retired old men part time or on the occasion during school break University students.

I sincerely hope you don't lose your job after you turn 40 if you do GOOD LUCK!

Don't believe me just take an hour an visit the "Hello Work" office nearest you and look at the adds.

I have my own business and times are though and I have neighbors (Japanese) in they 40's, 50's and 60's asking me everyday if I can give them even a few days of work ( right now that is not possible barely have enough for myself) and some of these guys are not in the best shape and they know I often have some of the dirtiest and sometimes dangerous jobs (thus why I get work I will do jobs that other won't at a price that those companies that actually do would never go for and without any insurance if something goes wrong), but they are desperate now and will take the risk.

I have a consulting and information business but right now not much work so I also have 2 other businesses offering other services and I just finished a 2 day contract working with hazardous material at a rate that is a joke and with no workman's insurance had I made a mistake I would have no safety net but that is life once you lose your job past 40 in Japan!

Ask your Japanese friends or coworkers see what they say!

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@proudnippon:" how many of the 'workers' of the world pay 150,000 yen a month on their house?" & " we are lucky we have the pick of so many jobs, yes working in a combini is a great job if you open your eyes."

Sorry no time to go back and look at all the post to see if you mentioned this but, Are you married or do you have a family to support?

Sorry but reality in Japan is that an apartment big enough for a family of 3 even in the worst place (unless you can get city housing, thus everyone else is helping pay your rent) will cost you a minimum of ¥90,000 and that would be good and it would be also IF the owner will rent to you seeing you are not a full time employee and on condition you have a guarantor!

Now your "combini" job will be for less then 40 hours a week so they don't have to make you an "employee" so lets say you are working the night shift at oh lest go with the ¥1,380 (I think you previously wrote) and lets say you are allowed to work 175 hour a month (176 or more makes you full time) that would roughly give you ¥241,500 before tax then you need the health insurance for the family and to pay the mandatory pension even if you have only one child that will leave you with MAYBE ¥160,000 (if you are real luck) now add in school lunch and other fees (public school) now you are down to ¥155,000 if elementary ¥148,000 junior high (double that school cost if you have 2 kids) now take rent that leaves roughly ¥50,000 yen for food electricity, clothing gas, water (forget phone), don't ever get sick because that will make you miss some payments.

Yes we are not being paid $2 a day for picking vanilla beans but we are also not living in a country were rents and cost of living reflect those wages.

The scenario I just wrote is a fantasy because I know the 3 "combini" near my place will not let you work more that 30 hours a week and are paying ¥1,100 an hour for the night shift ( I applied and was told "to old") like I said I will do any work to support my children.

PS. please don't come back with the family can live temporarily in a 1 or 2 room place (with a family of 3 or more) rental contract will stipulate that that is not allowed and they will not rent to you or have you evicted if you try it!

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Those who have been pointing out that you cannot live and raise a family on a low wage job are just pointing out what the article is saying.

And the article is saying that, the middle class job that are being lost are not being replaced by more or different middle class jobs but are being replaced by low wage service jobs.

In simple terms mo more middle class, no jobs capable of properly supporting just about everything form a family to schools to government.

It means that no mater how educated you think you may be there will be no jobs that are steady employment basically a return to the feudal times of rich land lords and basically peasant stile tenant workers living in poor conditions.

Your saying that you can find a job in a "combini" is just making the point of the article all people will be able to get are bare minimum jobs!

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Not sure which Combini, Yoshinoya, etc will hire people within 5 minutes.

Most of those places are rather picky who they hire and they can be as they get a lot of applications.

Sorry, still don't belief that someone can get a job within 5 minutes these days regardless of how hard-working, non-fussy, etc they are.

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Zenny11; I agree. Also some should get out of the city (usually Tokyo). There aint many chances for employment in my area. The best chance would be a 5 hour aound trip a day to Kobe or Osaka. Lots of spoilt brats these days and they get on my nerves.

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proudnippon-

where did I ever talk about YOU and your predicament? I didnt ignore it, you just imagined I cared about it. I was talking about ME.

again, my English wasn't understood.. sigh... I knew you were talking about YOU. Read my thread again. I never said you talked about ME.

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proudnippon-

stop whinging about how you have it so bad. go work in madagascar picking vanilla pods for 2 dollars a day

I don't have anything bad.. I've had my same job for 10 years now and I am keeping it. I was just putting myself in someone else's shoes. I wasn't talking about ME. you misunderstood me.

Moderator: Readers, from here on, please focus your comments on what is in the story, not at or about each other.

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Proudnippon-

Re:150,000yen of house payment - I guess I wasn't being clear enough. What I meant by housepayment was a housing loan monthly payment. I was talking about those people WHO USED TO HAVE IT ALL -- House, families, good job -- I am assuming you are married with no kids (feel free to tell me if you have kids and a house). Imagine, a person in his/her 40s, who had a good job/good pay -- bought a house and has 150,000yen monthly payment on top of the kids school and etc. You cannot just move out of the town so easily when you have kids going to school. You cannot easily sell a house especially when the economy isn't so great -- even if you move to a cheap apartment, you still have to make your monthly payment, so it'd be silly to move to an apartment unless you can sell your house, and even if you can sell it, you'd still have a housing loan left unless you've already paid it off.

Now the kids -- if they are in daycare, you know daycares are not cheap, if they go to school, it costs money, if your kids are taking piano lesson, juku, play sports and etc, then that costs you money, too. Kids college fund, insurance and all that ON TOP of the monthly housing loan.

This is called reality, and I am sure well over 5% of the population pay this much or more.

But then again, it'd be easy if it is just you and your wife, especially if your wife is also working, then that's super easy. You just have to support yourself and wife tips in, so no problem. Especially if you are hard working and not fussy, then life is great!!

Now if you still think the world wide problem of this job less rate nowadays is because of people's laziness and fussiness, you are the one who is not looking at the reality. I agree, that there are people who are fussy and lazy, there are many people like that, but then again, there also people who are qualified and educated, motivated and hard working, yet unable to find a job that they can support their lives because of various reasons.

It is NOT a simple lazy and fussy problem -- if that was the problem, no one would give them sympathy. Believe me, I once thought those people were being fussy, I used to think like why don't those people just go to some local restaurant or store to get a job? Better than no job.. I used to think like that, but then I learned more about the worldwide situations and changed the way of my thinking because the problem definitely isn't THAT simple.

If it was that simple, then smart person like YOU could just change the situation and you'd get an award from many countries!!

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All we need is a couple decades of this and there will be revolutions in countries you've never expected.

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quite depressing really how people can be treated this way is sad sad sad.

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Sure. Just have the WILL to have a job and work. As an Ivy League educated person, I have been lucky enough to not have many times of being unemployed, and also I have a part-time career as a freelance writer, but when you are educated and with a good resume, getting a job at a local cafe, store or as a security person is not an option. You are considered overqualified. I love my friends, but I can't say it's not interesting to talk with them as they have realized that their upper middle class life is not what it was 7 years ago and they can't even get new credit cards, though they made 200K or more a year recently. Sorry, I'm not a communist but this is capitalism at work and the people that thought they were all set in life are getting a little surprise. Also, I think I just realized that the main antagonist on this forum is not very worldly or bright, but other than that, good comments.

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