As recruiters, we are seeing hiring to be very prevalent across industries in 2017, however what we’ve noticed from our clients is the sheer lack of relevant talent to fill open jobs. There are several reasons why companies are struggling to fill appropriate openings.
According to Bloomberg and Japan Macro Advisors, Japan’s unemployment rate stands at 2.8%, matching the lowest since 1994. This is correlated with the significant lack of labor across the market, largely due to decline in Japanese working population. On average, the working age in Japan is between 15 to 64 years old, and the number of individuals within this age range has notably decreased.
In addition to lack of manpower, Japan’s flat wages are unlikely to incentivise individuals to head to work. It is reported that in March 2017, total wages fell by 0.4% YoY, the largest fall since June 2015.
Thirdly, another factor playing into lack of Japanese work force, is the large gender gap. There is a significant lack of women in the workforce. Potentially due to lack of child care resources, and long working hours in Japan.
Although solutions are limited, one suggestion, written in the Japan Times is to convert temporary (haken) jobs to permanent roles. This potential shift will offer better salaries, more benefits and job security for Japan’s current workforce.
As a job seeker, this indicates there are opportunities on the market that could be a fit for you. Additionally, with the potential of more permanent positions, and rising awareness of improving working environments - we foresee that companies will strive to make small improvements of the quality of work, in order to keep employees happy at their jobs.