Labor Shortages in Japan (May 2020 Statistics)
Friday, July 17, 2020
20 Industries with the Biggest Labor Shortages (May 2020 Statistics)
Our previous edition of “Labor Shortages in Japan” was published in February of this year, before the coronavirus became a global pandemic. The latest statistics published by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare are from May 2020 data, well into the height of the pandemic and while Japan was under a State of Emergency.
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 “job availability ratio” is 1.2 points, compared to the month before the number has decreased by 0.12 points.
New job openings to applicants ratio is 1.88, which is 0.03 point increase from the previous month.
The ratio of job openings to active employees (seasonally adjusted) was 0.90, down 0.08 points from the previous month.
The number of active job openings in May decreased by 8.6% from the previous month, and the number of active job seekers increased by 0.7%.
New job openings in May were 32.1% lower than the same month last year showing the effects of the coronavirus on the labor market. If we separate the data by industry here are the figures:
- Hospitality, food & beverage (down 55.9%),
- Lifestyle, entertainment services (down 44.2%),
- Manufacturing (down 42.8%)
- Other services (down 37.7%)
- Transportation and Delivery Services (37.0% decrease)
If the data is separated by prefecture the prefecture with most number available jobs was Fukui Prefecture with a score of 1.73, and the prefecture with the least number of available jobs was Okinawa with a score of 0.86. Therefore the number of new jobs accepted was also the highest in Fukui prefecture with a score of 1.66 and lowest in Okinawa with a score of 0.78.
Labor Shortage Ranking Top 20
１：Construction: Steel Workers 8.92
２：Infrastructure Builders 5.97
３：Security Workers 5.74
４：Civil Engineers 5.07
５：Construction and Civil Engineering Surveyor/Management 4.63
６：Caregivers (for the elderly or disabled) 4.15
７：Construction Workers 3.92
８：Childcare Workers 3.83
９：Machine Maintenance Workers 3.65
11：Lifestyle Services (Hairdressers, Cleaners, Janitors) 2.95
12：Doctors, Pharmacists 2.65
13：Social Welfare Workers (Nursing home staff, home nurses, mental health professionals, etc.) 2.64
14：Non-Medical Hospital and Clinic Staff 2.63
15：Utility Management and Payment Collectors (Out of Office Work) 2.54
16：Medical Technicians 2.48
17：Delivery and Transport Workers 2.44
18：Bus and Truck Drivers 2.05
20：Sales Staff 1.85
＊The numbers are the ratio of job openings to job applicants
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. If we follow the black line indicating the average number of available jobs, 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.
At this time the data that we have for the job market during the global pandemic shows a gradual decline in jobs, but the full effects on the economy and the job market will become more apparent in coming months.
We will update the statistics at that time.