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Monday, November 14, 2005

Japan's Labor Force

In this week's edition of the Economist, there's an interesting article about how the Japanese labor force will be changing as the population gets older. To counter the long term trends of a shrinking labor force (due to longer lives and less births), Japanese firms are now increasingly trying to attract females, young people, and the elderly through various means. One particular statistic I found interesting was the current percentage of women in the labor force :
Female participation in the labor force, at 55%, has risen in recent decades, but lags well behind Britain (61%) and America (62%), with many women, says Kathy Matsui, an analyst at Goldman Sachs in Tokyo, dropping out completely to raise children. Less than 10% of managers are women in Japan, compared with 46% in America.

The low percentage of female managers surprised me at first, but after considering the gender roles and dynamics in Asian culture, it makes more sense. I wonder what the female workforce statistics are for other Asian countries?

2 Comments:

Blogger Mr. Bear said...

Yea I read that article a while ago. Interestingly enough when i talk to females in their early 20's here in Japan the general sentiment about work is

"well i'll probably get married by my mid-20's anyway, and at that point i don't expect to (want to/have to) work full time"

Seems like the prospects for advancement for women are going to have to improve - if Japan is going to break the coffee serving office lady stereotype and genuinely introduce women, and *gasp* foreign labor into the market.

2:55 AM  
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5:34 AM  

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