Economic and Labour Situation in Japan, August 2023
Indications of Changes in the Japanese Workforce
Recent surveys have shown changes in the way Japanese people work, largely influenced by the declining working-age population due to Japan’s low birth rate and aging population. According to the Basic Survey on Employment Structure, the rate of employed women, especially in the 25 to 39 age group, is now in excess of 80%, placing it among the highest in the world in terms of employment rates. Moreover, the employment rate among Japan’s elderly has been steadily increasing over the past decade, with those in their 60s surpassing a 50% employment rate, and those in their 70s exceeding 30%.
One contributing factor to the rising employment rate is Japan’s extended “healthy life expectancy,” which has reached 75.38 years for women and 72.68 years for men, according to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. This improvement in healthy life expectancy can be seen as a background for increases in the employment rate.
Companies are also taking active measures to address the labor shortage (predicted to be 11 million by 2040, according to Recruit Works), such as treating employees in their 60s on a par with active employees. There is a movement to raise the retirement age from 65 to 70 while also improving treatment and benefits for this age group.
Labour Force Survey Monthly Results¹
The number of employed persons in June 2023 was 67.85 million, an increase of 260,000 over the same month the previous year, surpassing the pre-pandemic level for the same month in 2019. By gender, this included 37.19 million men, up 20,000, and a record-high 30.65 million women, up 240,000 from the previous year.
The number of unemployed persons in June 2023 was 1.79 million, a decrease of 70,000 from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in June was 2.5%, down 0.1 from the same month the previous year. The unemployment rate was 2.8% for men, up 0.1, and 2.1% for women, down 0.3, from the same month the previous year.
Units: 10,000 persons
|Population Aged Fifteen and Over||11,028||2||0.1|
|Not in Labour Force||4,056||-15||-0.6|
|Labour Force Participation Rate (%)||63.1||0.1||–|
|Employment Rate (%)||61.5||0.2||–|
|Unemployment Rate, Original Series (%)||2.6||-0.1||–|
|Current Month||Change From
|Unemployment Rate, Seasonally Adjusted (%)||2.5||-0.1|
(3) Job Availability
Japan’s job availability in June stood at 1.30, down 0.01 from the previous month. This ratio means there were 130 job openings for every 100 job seekers. The ratio of regular employee job offers to applicants was 1.03, unchanged from the previous month.
The ratio of new job offers to applicants, a leading indicator for the labour market, was 2.32, down 0.04 from the previous month.
Industrial output in June rose 2.0% over the previous month. While production and shipments increased, inventory ratio and inventories decreased.
The industries that mainly contributed to this increase were as follows: (1) motor vehicles; (2) electric parts and devices; and (3) general-purpose and business-oriented machinery, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecasts in Manufacturing, production was expected to decrease 0.2% in July and increase 1.1% in August. Industrial production shows signs of increasing at a moderate pace.
June 2022 2015 average = 100
|Seasonally Adjusted Index||Original Index|
|Index||Change From Previous Month (%)||Index||Change From Previous Year (%)|
Family Income and Expenditure Survey³
(1) Expenditure of Households of Two Persons or More
Average monthly consumption expenditure of households of two or more persons in June was 275,545 yen, down 0.5% in nominal terms and down 4.2% in real terms from the previous year, declining for the fourth consecutive month. By component in real terms, spending on furniture & household utensils fell 17.6%. Transportation and communication expenditure rose 3.9%.
2) Income and Expenditures for Workers’ Households
Average monthly income per household stood at 898,984 yen (including bonus payments), down 1.9% in nominal terms and down 5.6% in real terms from the previous year. The average level of consumption expenditure was 298,405 yen per month, down 0.7% in nominal terms and down 4.4% in real terms year-on-year.
The consumer price index (CPI) in June was 105.2 (2020 = 100), up 3.3% over the previous year and up 0.2% over the previous month. Core inflation (CPI less food and energy) was up 4.2% over the previous year, marking the fifteenth straight month of increase. Energy prices dipped 6.6%, as electricity bills fell 12.4% due to the government’s subsidization of utility bills for consumers. Food prices (excluding volatile fresh items) rose 9.2%, the fastest pace in nearly 47 years. Egg prices surged 35.7% amid bird flu-related supply concerns.
|All Items, Less Fresh Food||105.0||3.3||0.4|
|All Items, Less Fresh Food and Energy||104.4||4.2||0.2|
- Source: Labour Force Survey Monthly Results (Statistics Bureau of Japan) (https://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/roudou/results/month/index.html)
- Source: Indices of Industrial Production (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) (https://www.meti.go.jp/english/statistics/tyo/iip/index.html)
- Source: Summary of the Latest Month on Family Income and Expenditure Survey (Statistics Bureau of Japan) (https://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/kakei/156.html)
- Source: Consumer Price Index (Statistics Bureau of Japan)
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