Bright Prospects for Japan’s Job Market after 23 Years

October 13, 20158:31 am597 views

Japan’s job market is upbeat with opportunities flooding the market space to reach its highest level in August 2015, after 23 years.

Reflecting on the willingness of Japanese companies to hire local talent against the backdrop of robust earnings, the ratio of job offers to seekers climbed from 1.21 in July to 1.23 in August 2015.

This has been the highest since January 1992, when job offers stood at 1.25, the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry said. The latest results indicate that there are 123 vacant positions available for 100 job seekers.

The unemployment rate however slightly rose from 3.3 percent to 3.4 percent in August, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in a preliminary report. This can be attributed to slight deterioration in temporary factors.

Amidst economy recovery, some people left work in search of better jobs, a ministry official said emphasising on the fact that, “employment situation remains on an improving trend.”

See: Japan’s Talent Mismatch Ranks the Most Severe in Asia Pacific

The number of unemployed people increased seasonally adjusted 1.8 percent in July to 2.24 million, while those leaving jobs involuntarily for reasons such as mandatory retirement rose 9.8 percent to 670,000. The unemployment rate for men and women remain unchanged at 3.5 percent and 3.2 percent respectively.

By industry, the healthcare and welfare sector continued to attract more workers, with 360,000 jobs added in August, up 4.8 percent from a year earlier. But the manufacturing sector shed 240,000 jobs, down 2.3 percent.

Also data released from the Internal Affairs Ministry showed average monthly spending in August to increase an adjusted 2.9 percent from a year earlier to 291,156 yen (about $2,400).

This has been a significant gain in the last three months, resulting from hot weather in the first half of the month that led to brisk sales of products such as air conditioners and beverages, another ministry official said.

The government maintained its basic assessment that consumption was “picking up.”

By category, spending for transportation and communications, including purchases of vehicles, surged 8.6 percent, while that for renovations and other housing-related expenses climbed 15.2 percent. Outlays for food grew 0.6 percent.

The income of salaried households rose a real 2.2 percent to average 475,369 yen, up for the fifth straight month.

News source: Nikkei Asian Review

Also read: Challenges in Hiring and Retaining Talent in MNCs in Japan

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