Women bear brunt of Japan's pandemic job losses
Nikkei -- Sep 07
Massive job cuts caused by the coronavirus pandemic are concentrated on sectors that tend to employ many women, a trend that highlights a lopsided economic impact both at home and abroad.

In the first seven months of this year, 870,000 jobs were lost in Japan, mainly in the hotel, food service and retail sectors, where there are far more female employees than other sectors.

One woman who had a part-time job at a hotel in northern Japan told Nikkei that she was fired in July, losing her monthly income of 150,000 to 160,000 yen ($1,400 to $1,500). She is now looking for a job in the tourism sector but says it is difficult; tourists are decreasing and most of the companies in the industry are considering layoffs.

According to data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the number of employees in Japan's service and retail sectors are decreasing significantly.

Stay-at-home policies and shorter business hours for shops and restaurants are forcing the industry to cut its workforce and especially its female employees.

By comparing the monthly average of female workers in April-July 2020 to the same period the previous year, the hotels and food service sector saw a decrease of 280,000 workers; the lifestyle services and leisure sector decreased headcount by 140,000; and wholesale and retail staff dropped by 110,000.

By comparison, the number of jobs lost by male employees was less than 100,000 in each of these sectors.

In these sectors, females make up more than half of the workforce, with many contracted as part-time workers and who are therefore easier to lay off.

The entire number of employees in Japan in July was 26.6 million people, 3.2% less than the end of 2019. But, out of this entire workforce, the decline of male workers was only 0.8% over the same period, meaning women were hit hardest.

News source: Nikkei
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