Japan is suffering from a severe labor shortage, with 50% of businesses operating without formal employees.

Japan is suffering from a severe labor shortage, with 50% of businesses operating without formal employees

Japan’s economy has recovered despite the new crown epidemic. This has exacerbated the labor shortage in non-manufacturing industries like catering and lodging. Judging from the proportion of companies that are understaffed, 50 % of companies lack formal employees, and nearly 30 % of companies lack informal employees, the highest proportions after the outbreak. The rise in part-time hourly wages in restaurants and other places has helped workers support their families, but it has burdened SME operations. If the understaffing situation persists, affecting economic activity, it could become a burden on the recovery.

“After summer vacation and entering September, the shortage of staff in accommodation facilities continues, and some hotels have added lower-priced packages with only accommodation and no meals,” said Dive, which provides talent services for tourist accommodations. He said.

The number of lodging facilities around the world entrusting Dive with staffing recruitment is hovering at more than four times the level of 2021 . “People lost to other industries due to the epidemic won’t return easily, and many accommodation facilities are uneasy about inbound tourists,” the company said.

Restaurants have struggled with a lack of staff. Hiday Hiday, which runs the ramen shop ” Hidakaya ” , set a goal of having all 440 stores open until 11 p.m. 70 stores (16%) failed to implement it weekdays due to staffing issues.

Saitama Prefecture’s three pizza restaurants are now open only two days a week. In February, the company opened new stores and expanded, but it couldn’t find enough workers. Increasing rest days would lower sales, and the company “intends to promote manpower by promoting a relaxed working environment.”

At present, the number of employees in service industries such as catering, tourism, and transportation has decreased significantly. The number of people employed in the food and accommodation industry in July 2022 fell by 4% from July 2019 to 3.9 million, and the life-related service entertainment industry also fell by 4%. Information and communication industry employment rose 19% to 2.9 million. Due to epidemic-related movement restrictions, catering and tourism demand has declined. Information industry workers seek a stable income.

According to a survey by Imperial Databank, 49.3% of companies lacked regular employees and 29.1% lacked informal employees in August. . The proportions are the highest since the epidemic, and the level is close to 2018, when foreign tourists visiting Japan and the Tokyo Olympics increased the manpower shortage.

Since August, the number of new crown infections in Japan has reached a new high, but various prefectures have issued subsidies to promote tourism, and economic activities are returning to normal, which is one reason for the current labor shortage.

Hotel and hotel industry reached 67.9%, an increase of about 35 percentage points year-over-year, setting a new record after the epidemic. The catering industry reached 76.4% in August (up 32 percentage points year-over-year), and after 2021, understaffing will worsen. When demand recovers and manpower is low.

Part-time hourly wages have risen due to labor shortages. Recruit’s statistics show that the average hourly wage for part-time “catering” workers in Tokyo, Tokai, and Kansai was 1,062 yen (about 53 yuan) in August for five consecutive months. Reset the record. “Sales and services” rose 2 yen annually to 1,084 yen (about 54 yuan).

“Uniqlo” and “GU” plan to raise part-time hourly wages by 1 to 30% in the fall. Uniqlo has raised its average hourly wage by 3% since March and plans to do so again.

Rising raw material, fuel, and yen costs have led to higher food prices, straining household budgets. Increasing part-time hourly wages will help workers. Imperial Databank reports that the number of SME bankruptcies due to lack of staff reached 15 in July, the highest number in the past year, and 13 in August, a 30% year-on-year increase. Level.

Saito Taro, director of the Nikkei Research Institute’s Economic Research Department, said, “As raw material prices rise, the manpower shortage worsens, making it difficult for businesses to return to normal.”

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