Labor Shortages in Japan (July 2020 Statistics)
Monday, October 26, 2020
20 Industries with the Biggest Labor Shortages (July 2020 Statistics)
Our previous two editions of "Labor Shortages in Japan" was published in February and July of this year, featuring labor statistics from January 2020 and May 2020 respectively. The drastic change in the global economy since January has affected job markets in unpredictable ways. In the third installment of "Labor Shortages in Japan" we will be looking at Japan's labor market statistics for July 2020, two months after the State of Emergency was lifted. Here are the official job market statistics published by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.
From those statistics we have selected the Top 20 Industries with the greatest labor shortages using the government’s “job availability ratio”.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare puts out a monthly ratio comparing the number of job openings to the number of job applicants. This ratio is calculated based on statistics from Hello Work (the employment service center operated by the Japanese government).
Using the number of job applicants at Hello Work the monthly statistics show an analysis on topics like recruitment status and job seeking. Numbers greater than 1 indicate a labor shortage in the industry, and numbers less than 1 indicate a surplus of labor in the industry.
The numbers show a ratio of job openings to job applications. In other words, the higher the ratio, the higher the labor shortage, and vice versa.
Data from May 2020 shows that the “job availability ratio” is 1.08 points, compared to the month before the number has decreased by 0.03 points.
New job openings to applicants ratio is 1.72, showing no change from the previous month.
The ratio of job openings to active employees (seasonally adjusted) was 0.81, down 0.03 points from the previous month.
The number of active job openings in July increased by 2.5% from the previous month, and the number of active job seekers increased by 6.0%.
New job openings in July were 28.6% lower than the same month last year showing the effects of the coronavirus on the labor market. In May new job openings were 32.1% lower compared to the previous year, showing a small bounce back from after the State of Emergency.
If we separate the data by industry here are the figures for job availability:
- Hospitality, food & beverage (down 44.0%)
- Manufacturing (down 40.9%)
- Lifestyle, entertainment services (down 34.5%),
- Telecommunications (down 34.1%)
- Wholesale & Retail Business (down 33.4%)
If the data is separated by prefecture, the prefecture with most number available jobs was Fukui Prefecture with a score of 1.55, and the prefecture with the least number of available jobs was Okinawa with a score of 0.74. Therefore the number of new jobs accepted was also the highest in Fukui prefecture with a score of 1.48 and lowest in Okinawa with a score of 0.67.
Labor Shortage Ranking Top 20
１：Construction: Steel Workers 8.64
２：Infrastructure Builders 7.88
３：Security Workers 6.26
４：Civil Engineers 5.49
５：Construction and Civil Engineering Surveyor/Management 5.00
６：Construction Workers 4.04
７：Caregivers (for the elderly or disabled) 3.99
９：Childcare Workers 3.59
10：Machine Maintenance Workers 3.55
11：Lifestyle Services (Hairdressers, Cleaners, Janitors) 2.89
12: Social Welfare Workers (Nursing home staff, home nurses, mental health professionals, etc.) 2.75
13: Non-Medical Hospital and Clinic Staff 2.65
14：Utility Management and Payment Collectors (Out of Office Work) 2.63
15：Medical Technicians 2.47
16：Doctors, Pharmacists 2.24
17：Delivery and Transport Workers 2.02
18：Bus and Truck Drivers 1.95
19：Public Health Nurses, Midwives 1.90
20：Goods Packing Service Workers 1.73
Financial Crisis Vs. Coronavirus
This graph shows the ratio of job openings to job applicants from 2007 to March of this year. The dark blue bars indicate the number of available jobs and the light blue bars indicate the number of available job applicants. (Source: Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare)
The sharp dip in around the years Heisei 19 - 20 (2007 - 2008) indicates the effects of the Global Financial Crisis. As we can see, at that time, the average number of jobs dropped drastically, while the number of job seekers spiked.
With the effects of the global pandemic the number of availability rating has reached the lowest point in 6 years, while the number of job seekers is slowly on the rise.
However, this does not mean that there are no opportunities for foreign job seekers in Japan, as the statistics above show, the majority of job availability is industry specific and therefore those with specialised skills can still find work in Japan.
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