Thousands Of Job Openings Unfilled In Japan

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
thousands of job openings unfilled in japan

Japan’s automakers face a problem not seen for a long time: Unfilled job openings. “Automakers and other manufacturers are struggling to fill positions at their domestic factories as they ramp up output to make up for production lost since the March 11 disaster,” says The Nikkei [sub].

And that while automakers threaten to leave because of the high yen. And intervention by Japan’s Central Bank brought the Japanese currency to 80 to the dollar, which is still considered way too high

Job placement agencies say labor shortages get worse by the day. Toyota and Honda are seen offering wages of 1,200 yen to 1,300 yen per hour ($15.30 to $16.60), unchanged from pre-2008 levels. Some job placement agencies say wage hikes are inevitable.

Two explanations are given for the sudden shortfall of able bodies.

1.) Surprise: A lot of manufacturers looking for a large number of workers at the same time.

2.) Laziness: Considering high jobless rates among the young, “the lack of desire for work amid generous unemployment benefits may be one of the reasons why manufacturers are having difficulty filling factory positions,” an executive at a staffing agency told The Nikkei.

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Aug 06, 2011

    Why Japanese companies do not move factories abroad? American companies would do it in heart-beat. It is a rhetorical question I actually know the answer. In my previous company we had a joint venture with one of Japanese big companies and wanted to open factory in China because it made more sense from financial point of view. But Japanese insisted the factory to be open only in Japan and under their full control. Later we sold our part to Japanese because it was lowering our profit margins. Japanese explained that they want to keep advanced technologies under control and it also helps engineers to be close to production and prefer to employ fellow citizens. Americans do not care about this romantic stuff and would rather let Chinese to steal technology and hurt fellow Americans and make quick buck.

    • AaronH AaronH on Aug 08, 2011

      Nationalism. But that primitive mentality is falling away in Japan and more companies are moving business to prosperous markets. Money will always trump Nationalist stupidities...Eventually.

  • Mtypex Mtypex on Aug 07, 2011

    I'm sorry, but Carlos Ghosn is working as hard as he can to move Nissan production out of Japan. Mazda said that a US dollar below 70 yen means no more Hiroshima plant, and Mitsubishi Motors' president said something similar. The Japanese don't want to move production out of Japan, but they feel they will be forced to do so.

  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 07, 2011

    As others have pointed out, Japan has a massive demographics problem. The population is rapidly aging, dying and shrinking. Just a few years ago, Japan was summarily sending migrant workers of Japanese descent back to Brazil and other countries when there was no work for them. How many of those workers or their associates want to go back to Japan as second class residents once again? Not very many I suspect. If demographics is indeed destiny, Japan is in for a very long and difficult road in the decades ahead.

    • See 2 previous
    • L'avventura L'avventura on Aug 08, 2011

      @skyguym42 While I'm tempted to find humor in your xenophobic accusations which are in itself xenophobic. I think your perspective is a common one; misguided though it may be. What I find tragic is that chest-thumping nationalism, which so easily finds faults in others, seems to be amaurotic to their own respective national deficiencies. The unfortunate reality is that nearly all developed countries handles policy regarding low-skilled migrant labor very poorly. Be it Brazilians in Japan, Mexicans in America, Turks in Germany, or North Africans in France, every country has significant flaws in how they deal with the lower-echelons of migrant labor.

  • HiFlite999 HiFlite999 on Aug 10, 2011

    Just as EPA regulations (even now dissed by auto "enthusiasts") forced manufacturers to really understand engines, resulting in 300 hp, 30 mpg Chevy V-6's better than the best of 1970 V-8's, the unskilled labor shortage in Japan will force them into advanced automation, resulting in a future competitive edge. This process will eventually result in no market for unskilled labor and a preciously small (and international) one for the skilled.