Japan women in 30s stay in workforce as parental benefits improve

But many are only part-timers, leaving room for more progress

Nikkei -- May 28
Women in their 30s in Japan continue to make progress in workforce participation, greatly flattening their once-pronounced M-shaped dip stemming from pressure to quit jobs and become stay-at-home mothers.

Among the working-age population, which starts at age 15, the percentage of women employed or actively looking for work has historically veered sharply lower for those in their 30s compared with women in their 20s or 40s.

Japan's M-shaped curve had been conspicuously deeper than comparable graphs for other countries, shining a harsh light on the issues faced by women in the labor environment here.

But labor participation among women aged 30 to 34 climbed 5.5 percentage points from 2015 to 79.6% in 2020, government data out Friday shows. The share for 35- to 39-year-old women rose 5.2 points to 78.2%.

Back in 1985, the figure for women aged 30 to 34 came to just 49.3%. ...continue reading


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