Record-high 70% of women held jobs in August amid labor shortage
Japan Today -- Sep 29
The percentage of working-age women with jobs in Japan reached a record-high 70.0 percent in August, government data showed Friday, underscoring an increase in female workers amid changing attitudes and a deepening labor shortage.

The figure for women between ages 15 and 64 is at the highest level since comparable data became available in 1968 and compares with 83.9 percent for working-age men, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

The country's unemployment rate stood at 2.4 percent in the reporting month, falling from 2.5 percent in July for the first improvement in three months, to remain near the lowest level in more than a quarter of a century.

In Japan, women have long had fewer opportunities than men to pursue careers because of expectations that they would become homemakers or focus on raising children.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said his government is seeking to change this through policies including increasing the number of daycare facilities and making it easier for men to also take childcare leave.

The recent labor shortage, caused by the rapid aging of the population as postwar baby boomers reach retirement age, means there are ample open positions, though more than half of employed women, excluding executives, are part-timers or contractors with less stable and generally lower-wage jobs than regular employees.

Job availability remained at the highest level since January 1974, with the ratio of open positions to job seekers unchanged from the previous month at 1.63, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

News source: Japan Today
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