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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 July 17 - 23  > Abe in praise of job growth, but it is largely due to insufficient pension benefits
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2019 July 17 - 23 [LABOR]

Abe in praise of job growth, but it is largely due to insufficient pension benefits

July 18, 2019

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has proudly claimed that under his economic policies, employment grew significantly in the last six years. However, in reality, the growth is largely because of the increased number of working pensioners who cannot make ends meet with their pension benefits alone.

An Internal Affairs Ministry survey indicates that the number of employees increased by 3.8 million in the six years from 2012 when the second Abe government was inaugurated. Of this number, 2.55 million are workers aged 65 or older and 380,000 are people of working age (25-64).

The reason why more and more elderly seek employment even after the age of 65 is because their pension benefits are insufficient. This is shown in the Labor Ministry White Paper on Labour Economy 2018. According to the government report, 75% of workers aged 65 and 58% of workers aged 70 said that they continue to work in order to “supplement their income”. A small minority of them replied that it is in order to “remain healthy” or “stay connected to the society”.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on February 21 of this year at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting cited the fact that an increasing number of the elderly have to continue to work because of insufficient pension benefits. Shii said to Abe that this fact contradicts Abe’s claim of an improved economy. Abe gave no response.

Past related articles:
> Koike: Gov’t should abolish ‘macroeconomic slide’ mechanism and provide adequate basic pension benefits [June 19, 2019]
> Abe intends to force people to keep working as long as possible with insufficient pension benefits: Koike [February 2, 2019]

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