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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 7 - 13  > Gov't should fulfill responsibility to deal with corona-caused job losses
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2020 October 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Gov't should fulfill responsibility to deal with corona-caused job losses

October 8, 2020

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The employment situation in Japan has been worsening due to the COVID-19 crisis. A labor force survey in August which the Internal Affairs Ministry released on October 2 shows that the number of unemployed increased to 2.05 million, up 90,000 from the same month last year. The number of workers who are temporarily on leave because of corona-related business suspensions remained as high as 2.16 million. Another set of data published by the Labor Ministry indicates a sharp increase in the number of workers who lost jobs due to COVID-19. The figure has exceeded 63,000 as of October 2. The government should fulfill its responsibility by taking every possible measure to protect workers from the shrinking job market.

For the first time in three years and three months, the unemployment figures hit more than two million. The jobless rate rose to 3.0%, up 0.1 percentage point from the previous month. The 3-percent level was reached for the first time in three years and three months.

Hotel/restaurant businesses suffered a loss of 280,000 jobs and wholesale/retail businesses lost 160,000 jobs. Even after the state of emergency was lifted, a decline in consumer spending continues, revealing that the severe economic downturn has not abated.

According to the August survey, the manufacturing sector witnessed a sharp decline in jobs. On a year-on-year basis, 520,000 jobs disappeared, the largest decrease since January 2010. Experts point out that the job market crunch will affect a broad range of industries. Regarding non-regular workers, the number of employed fell by as many as 1.2 million from the same month last year. About 70% or 840,000 of them were women.

The Japanese Communist Party on October 2 urgently made a representation to the government, demanding measures to be taken to prevent undue layoffs and dismissals. The government should use all administrative and political tools at hand to not allow unreasonable corporate restructuring without waiting for the establishment of labor legislation which imposes dismissal regulations. It is also necessary for the government to cancel the termination of the Employment Adjustment Subsidy program in December and to expand the program so that small- and medium-sized enterprises can also be covered.

Past related article:
> Non-regular workers account for half of coronavirus-caused dismissals [June 4, 2020]
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