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Maciamo
Aug 11, 2004, 23:59
I have always been intrigued at the way the Japanese counted their unemployment rate. I don't know why there isn't any international standard in calculating who is jobless and who isn't. In Japan, whoever works even 1h a week, whoever turns down a job, or is employed a week a month, is considered as employed. As a result, the Japanese have long boasted at their low unemployment rates, eventhough it isn't the case anymore (over 5% officially).

But one of the most important differences between Japan and most Western countries (esp. individualistic Northern Europe), is that many married Japanese women stay at home, and are not considered unmployed because they are not seeking employment. This, I believe, is the same everywhere, but the fact that more Japanese women voluntarily stay at home gives more vacant jobs to men, and forrcibly reduces unemplyment. If all those house wives suddenly started to imitate their European counterpart and work, even part-time, unemployment rates would surge well over anything seen in Europe (well half of Western European countries already have lower unemployment rates than Japan, but big ones like Germany, Spain, France and Italy have rates around 10%).

Let's now calculate Japan's real unemployment. Japan's active population (that is between age 15 and 64) is 85 million or 66,9% of the total population.
The Ministry of Home Affairs' Statistical Handbook of Japan (http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/handbook/c12cont.htm#cha12_1) writes that in 2002, 109m Japanese were over 15, but only 66,9m were part of the labor force, among whom 63,3m were employed. That left the unemployment rate at 5,4%.

So why do we have 42,3m Japanese over 15 who are not part of the labor force ? Those are retired people, house wives, disabled people, etc.

To get a good approximate of the people who are voluntarily not working, I will exclude people over 64. It is true that some continue to work, but that will compensate for people between 15 and say 20, who do not feel like working, or do not need it because of their parent's support, or because they are too busy studying even for an "arubaito".

We get : 85m - 63,3m = 21,7 million people who are not working or 25,5% of the "active population" (those between 15 and 64 years old). This is our real unemployment rate. In other words 5,4% looking for work, and 20,1% not looking for work. Among them, 70% are females (housewives, students...); the remaining 30% of males being probably students who don't need to work or living/travelling abroad, homeless, or just self-employed people not declaring their income.

launch
Sep 3, 2004, 09:24
In Japan, are people who face unemployment and financial hardship called "girlie-men" by their leaders like we are here in the USA?

digicross
Sep 4, 2004, 14:13
Some people tend to think that being employed mean that you work for someone, and gain 'financial compensation'.

Now... What about those who work alone without registering his work to the authority, or work without monetary gain instead of other kind gain, or just work to live (farming his own food, building his own house), and so on.

Being a housewife is a work too, and a hard work indeed, just ask your mother.



The other problem is that 'employment rate' is often used as a terror/scare tactic to terrorize people.

People are fooled into thinking that high employement rate equal good life. How to terrorize people using this pre-programmed notion? Just have the mass media say that unemployment rate is rising, that will definetly scared some people.

The same goes vice versa.



But I do know one thing, if you don't work, you can't live. And you are alive when you are working.

If you are alive, you got to work to make sure that you stay alive. And when you are working, you are alive.

Considering that most of Japan's population are still living, I say that most of Japan's population are working.

Even little children work too, going up, going into the dining room, eat, go to the bedroom, and then sleep. Even THAT take work.

If I used that definition as the definition for employment rate, I say that employment rate of people around the world are 99%.

Legato
Oct 2, 2004, 15:00
I think there are a few problems with your calculation so I'll try to address them as best as possible in order.
First to answer your question there is an international rate of unemployment which is used in the US I believe but also in all other countries (otherwise it wouldn't be international) except that most countries have a primary rate. In Japan they choose to include everyone who works even a few hours, the international calculation starts at 42 hours in a month or something like that, I''m sure you can find the exact criterias on the web. On the other hand, countries like France use the calculation of the ANPE (national agency for employment) which counts people who work at least every week for a minimum of hours (might not be exact, been a long time since I studied that) that explains the high UN rate, might be the same thing in Germany.
However, you than try t figure out the real level of UN, that can't be done because UN ONLY applies to people actively looking for a job, period. You say that UN should be higher in Japan because so many women stay at home, well first staying at home and being a homemaker is a job although it is not counted in the GDP, then this is true in every country in the world even if it's to a lesser extent. Then it's obvious that people over 64 as you say shouldn't be counted even if there is no retirement age, it is only normal for elders to stop looking for job as they would be more of a nuissance to production, beside most people in Europe stop working around 60 and below (50 and 55 is common in France). This is a problem since the proportion of older people becomes larger but nothing can be done.
Then people under 18 shouldn't be counted, it is the case in Europe, you should be able, and I would even call it a duty to go to shool at least until that age, then you can take a part time job but students who don't find one usually don't look very actively.
But here is the largest problem that I see, 20% of the population not working? So do you assume these people should be working or could be? Where would they be employed if there is already 5.4% who can't find a job? If there is no need for them to work then it's best if they stay out of the work force. Beside you forgot someone in the passive population, the workers who gave up on looking, homeless people, very rich people, people who have been looking for a year or two but can't seem to find anything... These people are usually more important that the women and students who work in a way because these people don't do a thing. Moreover there is the underground economy, drug dealers, prostitutes... these are not counted as workers either bt they do work and stimulate the economy.
Lastly, I will add a few words about UN. You were right in saying that Japan's UN rate should be higher, it's also true for the US. The countries which use a calculation based on very few hours usually have low UN but their real UN would be about 5% higher (about the same level you see in France and Germany). The reason is that a part time worker is counted even with 10hrs a month but can he/she live with that kind of earning? certainly not, that's why you can see in the US UN rates below 5% but poverty rates close to 20%, weird!! SO should we count as unemployed all the people below poverty level? We still can't because a lot of these people don't want to work at all.
The other problem is that full employment is officially at 4% in the US (it can vary) that is because there will always be people transitioning from one job to another, moving to another place... so you never get 0%.
I hope this was useful, I realize I didn't do any statistical research but I assume that I can rely on my knowledge of the subject (I'm an econ major after all) clarify these points. I also realize that you didn't mean to call for a change of the system, but I like to see things in a realistic manner and what you presented was not, in my opinion, justified or representative of the real situation, see this post as an addition.

Maciamo
Oct 2, 2004, 21:54
However, you than try t figure out the real level of UN, that can't be done because UN ONLY applies to people actively looking for a job, period.

This is the official definition of "unemployment". But what I want to know is the "real unemployment" (not the same as "official unemployment" you are referring to). "Real unemployment" is not the number of people looking for a job, but the number of people who are not working. Of course, this doesn't even include the number of underemployed, i.e cannot make ends meet with their revenue, which I also want to know and compare for each countries (but couldn't find the complete stats on Internet).


You say that UN should be higher in Japan because so many women stay at home, well first staying at home and being a homemaker is a job although it is not counted in the GDP, then this is true in every country in the world even if it's to a lesser extent.

You seem to have completely misunderstood my point. It doesn't matter whether they do something at home, are studying (also a job, isn't it ?) or writing books which thy won't commercialize. The important is whether they have a revenue or not. Because I want to know the exact productivity per capita (real GDP per capita for people actually earning something. Sorry, I should have explained better the purpose of my calculations.



Then it's obvious that people over 64 as you say shouldn't be counted even if there is no retirement age, it is only normal for elders to stop looking for job as they would be more of a nuissance to production, beside most people in Europe stop working around 60 and below (50 and 55 is common in France).

Yes, I know, that is why I only counted the active population (by definition people between 16 and 65) and substracted the people who do not have any income, however active they may be at home, as volunteers or in their hobbies.


Then people under 18 shouldn't be counted, it is the case in Europe, you should be able, and I would even call it a duty to go to shool at least until that age, then you can take a part time job but students who don't find one usually don't look very actively.

Whether students decide to work part-time of not is not an issue here. As long as they can legally work (from 15 or 16 usually), that is their own choice if they don't (because their parents support them, as the housewife can be supported by her husband). What I want to know is what percentage of the population is contributing the the GNP/GDP.


So do you assume these people should be working or could be? Where would they be employed if there is already 5.4% who can't find a job?

Exactly ! That's another reason I wanted to point out. With an official unemployment over a few %, it is unlikely that if people not looking for work would find a job if they suddenly all decided to look for one. Which explains why this is the "real unemployment" level.


Beside you forgot someone in the passive population, the workers who gave up on looking, homeless people, very rich people, people who have been looking for a year or two but can't seem to find anything... These people are usually more important that the women and students who work in a way because these people don't do a thing.

I don;t think that homeless or non-working millionaire make up more than 0,1% of the population. Anyway, it doesn't matter to calculate the contribution to the GNP.


Moreover there is the underground economy, drug dealers, prostitutes... these are not counted as workers either bt they do work and stimulate the economy.

Hopefully these are not too numerous, but it's true we cannot be perfectly accurate without counting them. However, they do not contribute to the official GDP, so they can be isolated for my purpose.


You were right in saying that Japan's UN rate should be higher, it's also true for the US. The countries which use a calculation based on very few hours usually have low UN but their real UN would be about 5% higher (about the same level you see in France and Germany).

That is also why I wanted to compare real unemployment levels and not official (UN) ones.


(I'm an econ major after all)

Me too. :-)

Apollo
Dec 2, 2004, 00:47
Just some comments about unemployment in Japan:

Japan, although modern and industrialised, has features in society which are quite different from what is found in other countries. Such as shuushin koyoo (life-long employment) and nenkoo joretsu (the seniority system) dominate the labour market of Japan.

The English term unemployed means, of to be without a job. However, the corresponding Japanese word shitsugyoo does actually mean "to have lost ones job or employment." This could imply a difference in the way in which people from outside Japan and the Japanese people perceive the meaning of the concept of unemployed. Basically, in Japan, to be unemployed or lost your job have different meanings.

When graduates from universities, who have never had a job to lose ,wish to enter the labour market, and they have to take part in questionnaires, they would not go under the category of shitsugyoo. A sufficient questionnaire should include the word ronin, which means master less, as by this, the unemployed graduates would be added to the unemployed.
:balloon:

PaulTB
Dec 2, 2004, 00:52
Japan, although modern and industrialised, has features in society which are quite different from what is found in other countries. Such as shuushin koyoo (life-long employment) and nenkoo joretsu (the seniority system) dominate the labour market of Japan.
Had features in society ...
Well that's an exaggeration but life-long employment is on a one-way track down.

The English term unemployed means, of to be without a job. However, the corresponding Japanese word shitsugyoo
The corresponding Japanese word is 無職 mushoku which actually means "no employment".

Apollo
Dec 2, 2004, 00:58
Had features in society ...
Well that's an exaggeration but life-long employment is on a one-way track down.




I know that...the one-way track down is mainly due to the economic crises and the bubble burst.

About shistugyoo, well, I don't want to argue with you over a word but my Japanese friend who was a graduate two years ago had to fill out a questionnaire/card with this word= shitsugyoo. I remember this word. Can you then explain when these words are used in what situations?

This computer can't write Japanese, but will find the word (shitsugyoo) if you want. :-)

PaulTB
Dec 2, 2004, 01:05
About shistugyoo, well, I don't want to argue with you over a word but my Japanese friend who was a graduate two years ago had to fill out a questionnaire/card with this word= shitsugyoo. I remember this word. Can you then explain when these words are used in what situations?
無職 mushoku is used all the time on the news when somebody unemployed is arrested for some crime. 'Such-and-such a guy, 37, mushoku (unemployed), was arrested for ...' type of thing.

Of course unemployment is a different word to unemployed.

You said unemployed in your post, 失業 is probably closer to unemployment.

Apollo
Dec 2, 2004, 01:09
無職 mushoku is used all the time on the news when somebody unemployed is arrested for some crime. 'Such-and-such a guy, 37, mushoku (unemployed), was arrested for ...' type of thing..

oookay! Thanks Paul! But now I am confused...when IS shitsugyoo used then? I am sure my childhood Japanese friend's questionnaire had this word for a reason, no?

PaulTB
Dec 2, 2004, 01:20
oookay! Thanks Paul! But now I am confused...when IS shitsugyoo used then? I am sure my childhood Japanese friend's questionnaire had this word for a reason, no?

Hah. I was obviously still editing when you posted that :-P

Try looking up a bit ;-)

Apollo
Dec 2, 2004, 01:30
Yep, unemployment is 失業 = used also when one has lost a job, or is unemployed, fired, I think... :? I think it is a noun used for unemployment... :?

hmmm...very confusing though. :-)
Especially, as being fired/ lost your job does not necessarily mean unemployed in Japan....
Like: "are you unemployed or have you lost your job?" ???
The difference in meaning is big in the Japanese language though, no?

:relief:

biznet
Dec 23, 2004, 22:04
As mentioned above the unemployment statistics are probably much higher than Japan reports.

And that in itself is the "tip of the iceberg". Japan loves to "look good" on the surface, and while they are trying to "man please" the rest of the world by sending billions of dollors for this and that. They are at the same time ripping off their own people.

Food prices are about 5 times higher than the rest of the world (go on base and check out the prices). They put high taxes on many desireable items as well as rice.

And while they are so "giving" to the rest of the world they offer next to nothing in the way of welfare for their own people. You are either rich, poor or homeless. Even a single mother with a couple of kids only gets a little free milk and enough to buy "some" food after jumping through a 1000 hoops at the city office.

There are millions of ways that the Japanese Govenment could ease the burdens of it's own people and make life easier. They are making steps but it may not happen in our lifetime.

I've tried to help the homeless in a small way and if you would like to help please check out this website. http://familysupplyline.com (http://familysupplyline.com)

MeltdOwn_Akira
Dec 24, 2004, 17:58
damn goverment...

jerry4
Dec 27, 2004, 10:09
does anyone see the similarity between japan & germany?

Maciamo
Dec 27, 2004, 11:24
Here we go for "official" unemployment figures" for mothers. Officially 78,3% are working (unemployement = 21,7%). A quite high figure considering that most women above 25 or 30 are mothers.


The number of mothers who were working and living with their parents totaled 46.7 percent, while the number of mothers who were working and did not live with their parents remained at 31.6 percent.

Source : Yomiuri (http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20041224wo32.htm)


It is also incredible to see how many Japanese families have to share a house with their parents (3, or sometimes 4 or 5 generations under the same roof). Where in Western countries could that happen, if not at all, at least regularily.
Actually, I do not know and have never heard of any couples with children still living with their parents in Europe. I think that "privacy" between couples is much more important in Europe. It is almost unthinkable for instance to have the children sleep with their parents (not occasionally, but every night) until 6 or even 12 years old as it is in Japan. Western children normally get their own room (or at worst, shared with a sibling) since age 0 or 1. And I don't know many Westerners couples who wouldn't be embarassed to sleep (or have sex) next to their parents' room because they are living together. Maybe that is why Japan has so many love hotels. When you ask Japanese people about it, they say that their houses are too small, but what they really mean is that they can't have any privacy because half of them still live with their parents and in a too small house (where everything can be heard due to the thin walls).

There is always an explanation to everyting. Lots of love hotels because so many couples live with their parents and houses are small with thin walls. Couples live with their parents because they can't afford to live by themselves. Why ? Because salaries in Japan are not so good considerding the cost of life, and for the last 15 years the ailing economy, with a real unemployment rate of 25%. If unemployment was really 5% as the official number, there wouldn't be "46,7% of mothers (and their husbands) living with their parents".

Xkavar
Mar 3, 2005, 11:42
Whether students decide to work part-time of not is not an issue here. As long as they can legally work (from 15 or 16 usually), that is their own choice if they don't (because their parents support them, as the housewife can be supported by her husband). [b]What I want to know is what percentage of the population is contributing the the GNP/GDP.

Would you define "work" as any means by which a person brings money into the family household, Maciamo? Because if that's the case, I regularly contribute between 3 and 6 thousand U.S. dollars a year in college loan and grant money to my family's income. Do they have school loans in Japan?

Mcspi
Mar 3, 2005, 12:37
What is the reason you are wanting to know so much about Unemplyment in Japan? This topic seems to be confussing.

Maciamo
Mar 3, 2005, 23:31
Would you define "work" as any means by which a person brings money into the family household, Maciamo? Because if that's the case, I regularly contribute between 3 and 6 thousand U.S. dollars a year in college loan and grant money to my family's income. Do they have school loans in Japan?

That's not considered as "work". Living from pension, social secirty, donation (from parents), etc. all bring money, but are certainly not employment. Even a landlord living off rents is not officially employed. So if there was a tiny country (like Monaco or the Vatican) where half of the people where millionaires, landlords or whatever, and the other half worked for them (hotels, restaurants, other services), the unemployment rate would be 50%, although the richest would be the unemployed. :relief:

lightbeam
Apr 25, 2005, 19:38
This number is difficult to believe. With that kind of situation, Japan would become chaotic.

smiceo
May 9, 2005, 11:56
I have always been intrigued at the way the Japanese counted their unemployment rate. I don't know why there isn't any international standard in calculating who is jobless and who isn't. In Japan, whoever works even 1h a week, whoever turns down a job, or is employed a week a month, is considered as employed. As a result, the Japanese have long boasted at their low unemployment rates, eventhough it isn't the case anymore (over 5% officially).

But one of the most important differences between Japan and most Western countries (esp. individualistic Northern Europe), is that many married Japanese women stay at home, and are not considered unmployed because they are not seeking employment. This, I believe, is the same everywhere, but the fact that more Japanese women voluntarily stay at home gives more vacant jobs to men, and forrcibly reduces unemplyment. If all those house wives suddenly started to imitate their European counterpart and work, even part-time, unemployment rates would surge well over anything seen in Europe (well half of Western European countries already have lower unemployment rates than Japan, but big ones like Germany, Spain, France and Italy have rates around 10%).

Let's now calculate Japan's real unemployment. Japan's active population (that is between age 15 and 64) is 85 million or 66,9% of the total population.
The Ministry of Home Affairs' Statistical Handbook of Japan (http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/handbook/c12cont.htm#cha12_1) writes that in 2002, 109m Japanese were over 15, but only 66,9m were part of the labor force, among whom 63,3m were employed. That left the unemployment rate at 5,4%.

So why do we have 42,3m Japanese over 15 who are not part of the labor force ? Those are retired people, house wives, disabled people, etc.

To get a good approximate of the people who are voluntarily not working, I will exclude people over 64. It is true that some continue to work, but that will compensate for people between 15 and say 20, who do not feel like working, or do not need it because of their parent's support, or because they are too busy studying even for an "arubaito".

We get : 85m - 63,3m = 21,7 million people who are not working or 25,5% of the "active population" (those between 15 and 64 years old). This is our real unemployment rate. In other words 5,4% looking for work, and 20,1% not looking for work. Among them, 70% are females (housewives, students...); the remaining 30% of males being probably students who don't need to work or living/travelling abroad, homeless, or just self-employed people not declaring their income.


Wow, this tough me a thing or two. May be that's why Japanese women are such house wives. They never expect to work outside the home. Is that trend changing now? Are Japanese women wanting to work outside the home becoming more common now?

Domo-kun
Mar 16, 2006, 09:04
I live in Japan and i know what a problem unemployment is. If you go to cities like SHibuya or Akihabara, you could easily find young people [20s] hanging around. Actually, thats pretty much all you see, apart from buildings. Those people have absolutely no dignity as a human. All they do is have fun and be lazy! I tell you, theres nothing super about that. And how do they get money? They only have useless part time jobs! Right now, the middle aged people are the back bone of Japan. When they're gone, there will be very few people to replace them with. The people in their 20s were supposed to be the next generation, but no, they are lazy, not so well educated, and think only of having fun! They will not become the next generation, neither will the current high schoolers, but the current middle schoolers and younger people have a chance to be changed.

dangdaga
Apr 21, 2006, 20:30
This number is difficult to believe. With that kind of situation, Japan would become chaotic
http://img206.imageshack.us/img206/2272/60158873350587ke.jpg

gaijinalways
Apr 23, 2006, 01:23
Japan is in sorry straits. There is always a problem with trying to calculate the 'real' unemployment rate in any country. Japan has a lot of underemployed people as well as people who have just given up (the Neets and the hikikomori). This next generation here is going to be in real 'economic' trouble. Whether female or male, beyond looking at the nonworking mothers, the 'lazy' and/or despondent young people are more troubling part of the unemployment situation.

As to what Maciamo stated, it's true, you seem to have a large percentage of people who remain at home with their parents in Japan, whether married or not. One aspect of looking for most employment is developing some independence, which many Japanese seem to almost abhor, clinging to a group whether they are a productive member of that group or not.