Impact of the Long Recession on Japanese Careers

Friday, July 18, 2014: 9:30 AM
Room: Booth 42
Distributed Paper
Wataru NAKAZAWA , Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Suita, Osaka, Japan
The aim of this presentation is to examine the effect of the long recession on Japanese careers. After the Lehman Brothers crisis of 2008, many social scientists discussed the changes that took place in the Japanese labor market and the problems of unstable employment. The smooth transition from school to work has been one of the unique characteristics of the Japanese labor market. However, the number of young people who could not follow the typical career path increased, and it has become more difficult to obtain regular jobs. Additionally, opportunities for regular jobs are said to be unevenly distributed on the basis of educational backgrounds. Many social scientists focused on the lifetime employment system, and they presupposed that continuing in the same workplace was a better option rather than frequently changing jobs. However, the present condition of the labor market appears to be anything but simple. Today, if persons with high educational backgrounds change jobs often, they might still be able to get another regular job easily. On the other hand, even if those with lower educational backgrounds continue in their jobs as nonstandard workers, they may not be confirmed as regular workers. In Japan, nonstandard workers are excluded from the social security system because welfare services provided by the government are fragile, and companies only provide regular workers with welfare services. Therefore, it is inadequate to focus only on the duration of stay in a workplace. In this presentation, I propose to use the data from the Japanese Life Course Panel Survey that was started in 2007 and is followed up annually. The data includes information on occupation, working conditions, and educational backgrounds, and will help examine the frequency of change of jobs, the duration of stay in a given workplace as well as the other abovementioned issues.