Poverty and Mental Illness in People Excluded from the Labor Market in Japan
The study revealed two main findings. First, the proportion of “jobless people who have a desire to work” increased from 2004 to 2010. Compared to job-seekers or working people, these jobless people tended to be single men and married women. Meanwhile, jobless men and women had a desire to work if they were younger and had smaller savings. Second, in 2010, male “jobless people who do not desire to work” were most likely poor or suffering from a mental illness. For women, however, “job-seekers” and “jobless people who have a desire to work” were more likely than those in other categories to be poor or suffering from a mental illness.
In conclusion, we found that being jobless may increase the probability of poverty and mental illness, even if employment is not being sought. Furthermore, we speculated that even if men neither search for jobs nor have a desire to work, they are not necessarily satisfied with their lives as jobless, and therefore they might be socially excluded. However, this is not true for women as Japanese society is based on a strong male-bread-winner model. Therefore, the meaning of being jobless differs for men and women in Japan.