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Long-term rise in Japan's unemployment rate [ClearOnMoney]
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Long-term rise in Japan's unemployment rate

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Commentary

Long-term rise in Japan's unemployment rate

25 Mar 2011 by Jim Fickett.

In the short run the unemployment rate in Japan reflects the business cycle. As of January the rate was down moderately from the financial crisis peak. In the long run, the unemployment rate has been in a strong rising trend. This reflects the transition from most jobs being secure for life to the present situation, where about a third of jobs are temporary or part time.

(For sources, see the new Reference page Japan employment. Click for larger image.)

The structural changes in employment raise difficult societal issues in Japan, with those in “regular” jobs being paid far more for the same work than those in “non-regular” jobs, and with many young people locked out for life from the more desirable careers. Stories abound of “freeters”, young people with occasional temporary work, living in cafes and facing a bleak future.

However from the investor's point of view, this is probably an unpleasant but necessary transition to a more competitive workforce. While there are a great many unfortunate inefficiencies in the way the workforce is utilized, it is probably changing slowly for the better. In short, there is nothing in the employment situation to discourage investing in Japan.