Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 2 - 8  > Growing income inequalities and increasing numbers of working poor
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2019 October 2 - 8 [LABOR]

Growing income inequalities and increasing numbers of working poor

October 3, 2019

The number of workers whose annual income is less than two million yen, the so-called “working poor”, increased to 10.98 million in 2018, up 129,000 from the previous year. This was shown in the results of a National Tax Agency’s statistical survey regarding workers’ wages which was released on September 27.

Reflecting the widespread use of non-regular workers, the number of working poor continues to rise. The figure topped the 10 million mark for the first time in 2006 and peaked at 11.39 million in 2014, remaining above 10 million.

On the other hand, the number of workers who earn more than 25 million yen annually increased in 2018 to 164,000, accounting for 0.3% of salaried employees, from 64,000 (0.1%) in 1996. This shows that income inequality in Japan is growing.

Under a situation where poverty and economic inequality has become more serious, the government should reconsider the consumption tax with its rate now at 10%, which will further aggravate the situation. Rather, it should take measures, including offering adequate financial support for smaller businesses, to swiftly raise minimum hourly wages to 1,000 yen nationwide followed by an additional increase of 500 yen per hour.

Past related articles:
> Number of working poor remains above 10 million for 12 years in a row [October 11, 2018]
> Use of non-regular workers to cut labor costs clarified in government data [November 6, 2015]
> Number of ‘working poor’ exceeds 11 million [September 30, 2014]

> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved