Even after pandemic, Japan's labor market faces shortages and mismatches

Japan Times -- Aug 17
Japan has been unable to shift its economy into higher gear as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, a fact that has often overshadowed some of the country's chronic labor challenges, including worker shortages and job mismatches.

But those issues haven't gone anywhere, and it appears that the situation could even worsen once society returns to some semblance of normality as vaccinations help ease the pandemic's fallout.

In the wake of the first coronavirus state of emergency, in April last year, the labor market temporarily saw excess employment as a record 5.97 million workers were furloughed. But the latest government data shows that figure has decreased significantly — to 1.82 million in June.

The tourism and restaurant industries, hard-hit by the pandemic, will likely be troubled by shortages of workers as demand recovers.

Due to virus restrictions on businesses, those industries have lost a considerable number of workers.

Businesses relying on face-to-face service, in particular, have been suffering from subdued demand over the past year and half due to measures that have restricted people’s movement.

- Japan Times