There is a critical shortage of workers in Japan; half of all businesses have trouble finding regular employees.

There is a critical shortage of workers in Japan; half of all businesses have trouble finding regular employees.

Japan’s economic activities have continued to recover despite the ongoing spread of the new crown epidemic. As a result of this circumstance, the labor shortage that has been plaguing businesses, particularly those in non-manufacturing sectors like the hospitality and food service industries, has become even more severe. The percentage of businesses that are understaffed has increased significantly since the outbreak, with half of all businesses lacking formal employees and nearly a third of all businesses lacking informal employees. These are the highest proportions since the outbreak. The rise in the hourly wages of part-time workers in restaurants and other businesses has enabled employees to better provide for their families, but it has made it significantly more difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to remain profitable. It is possible that the recovery will be hampered if the understaffing situation continues for an extended period of time and has a negative impact on economic activity.

“The shortage of staff in accommodation facilities continues after the summer vacation ends and we enter September,” said Dive, a company that specializes in providing talent services for accommodation facilities in tourist spots. “Some hotels have even added lower-priced packages with only accommodation and no meals,” said Dive. According to the person in charge.

More than four times as many lodging establishments around the world are currently entrusting Dive with their staffing recruitment needs as they did in 2021. According to the statement made by the company, “Many lodging facilities are feeling uneasy as the number of inbound tourists (foreigners visiting Japan) is expected to increase due to the fact that talents lost to other industries due to the epidemic will not easily come back.”

The lack of available staff in dining establishments has also become a barrier to the operations of the business. The company Hiday Hiday, which runs the ramen shop ” Hidakaya “, had the ambitious goal of keeping all 440 of its locations open until 11:00 pm on weekdays. However, because of challenges in securing sufficient manpower, approximately 70 locations, or 16%, were unable to achieve this goal.

Since September, a small and medium-sized enterprise that operates three pizza restaurants in the Saitama Prefecture has reduced the number of days per week that each location is open to just two. In February, the company opened new stores and expanded its reach; however, it was unable to secure the manpower it had hoped to have in order to fulfill its expansion plans. The company predicted that increasing the number of days off would result in decreased revenue, and it stated that it “intends to promote the availability of manpower by promoting a relaxed working environment.”

At the present time, there has been a significant reduction in the number of people working in service industries such as catering, tourism, and transportation. According to the Labour Force Survey conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of people employed in the food and accommodation industry in July 2022 decreased by 4% from July 2019 to 3.9 million people, and the number of people employed in the entertainment industry related to life also decreased by 4%. On the other hand, the number of people working in the information and communication industry rose significantly by 19%, reaching 2.9 million. It is clear from this that the demand for tourism and catering has decreased as a direct result of the effects of the restrictions placed on movement as a result of the epidemic. In this instance, workers who were looking for a reliable source of income have flocked to the information industry.

According to the findings of a survey conducted by the research firm Imperial Databank (which received valid responses from approximately 12,000 businesses), 49.3% of businesses lacked regular employees in August, and 29.1% of businesses lacked informal employees. These figures represent the proportion of businesses that answered “insufficient staff.” The ratio is at its highest point since the outbreak, and the level is comparable to that which was observed around the year 2018, when an increase in the number of international visitors to Japan and the construction of buildings related to the Tokyo Olympics led to an exacerbated manpower shortage.

Although the number of new crown infections in Japan has reached a new high since August of this year, various prefectures have issued subsidies to promote tourism, and economic activities are returning to normal. This is one of the background reasons why there is a shortage of manpower at the present time.

The hotel and hotel industry reached 67.9%, an increase of approximately 35 percentage points year-on-year, setting a new record after the epidemic in terms of industries lacking informal employees. This represents an increase from the previous record, which was set before the epidemic. In addition, the catering industry reached 76.4% in August (an increase of 32 percentage points year-on-year), and after the year 2021 comes to a close, the tendency toward understaffing will become even more pronounced. in a circumstance where demand is showing signs of improvement and there is a shortage of manpower.

Because there is a shortage of workers, part-time hourly wages have increased as a result. According to the statistics provided by Recruit, the average hourly wage for part-time “catering” workers in the three major metropolitan areas of Japan (Tokyo, Tokai, and Kansai) was 1,062 yen (about RMB 53) in the month of August. This represents the all-time high and has been maintained for five consecutive months. Additionally, “Sales and services” reached a record high of 1,084 yen, which was up 2 yen from the previous year (about 54 yuan).

After the fall, “Uniqlo” and “GU,” two brands owned by Fast Retailing Group, intend to boost the hourly wages of part-time employees by approximately 1 to 30 percent. Since March, Uniqlo has increased its average hourly wage by 3%, and the company plans to raise it even further this time in order to ensure that it has sufficient manpower.

The weakening of the yen, along with rising costs of raw materials and fuel, has led to an increase in food prices, which has put pressure on household budgets. Increasing the hourly rate that part-time workers receive will assist in relieving some of the stress that is placed on them. The number of small and medium-sized businesses that went bankrupt due to a lack of staff reached 15 in July, the highest number in the previous year, and also reached 13 in August, hovering at a high of a year-on-year increase of 30%, according to data from Imperial Databank. This is the highest number that the number of bankruptcies due to a lack of staff has ever reached. Level.

“in the context of the continuous rise in raw material prices,” Saito Taro, director of the Economic Research Department of the Nikkei Research Institute, pointed out that “the problem of insufficient manpower has become a major burden for the return of normal business activities.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *