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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 19 - 25  > 60% of young workers struggling to make living amid pandemic
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2021 May 19 - 25 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

60% of young workers struggling to make living amid pandemic

May 25, 2021

Survey results the Democratic Youth League of Japan (DYLJ) released on May 24 show that about 60% of young workers answered that their "lives have become hard" due to the protracted COVID-19 crisis and that they "fear they could contract the coronavirus".

The DYLJ carried out the survey from December 2020 until the end of March 2021 in order to have the voices of young workers heard in the political arena.

Those who answered that their "lives have become hard" or "have become somewhat hard" accounted for 61% due to the pandemic. More than 60% of young workers surveyed answered that they are worried about becoming infected with COVID-19.

In the bracket for non-regular workers: "My employer cut my work schedule. I can't make a living without working long hours because my hourly wage is low" (24-year-old worker in the service industry); "I cannot find a job because there are few job interviews under the pandemic situation" (26-year-old job seeker in the cleaning industry); and "Underwear was the only clothing item I bought last year. My budget for lunch now is 500 yen" (27-year-old worker in the insurance industry).

In the bracket for regular workers: "My after-tax monthly salary decreased by 30,000 yen and I receive no bonus" (25-year-old worker in the aviation industry); "I now work from home causing an increase in utility bills, but I receive little allowance to cover costs associated with teleworking" (24-year-old IT worker); "I now carry heavier workloads associated with the pandemic, but I receive no allowance and have cuts in bonuses" (26-year-old healthcare worker); and "I am constantly worried I may become infected or may bring the virus into my workplace. I haven't met my friends for more than one year and I can't release my stress" (32-year-old medical processor).

The DYLJ said, "All young workers are negatively affected in some sort by the pandemic." The DYLJ pointed out that one in every three young workers work on non-regular contract with low hourly wages and excessively long working hours, claiming that this has been a social problem since before the coronavirus crisis. The DYLJ stressed the need to see the coming general election as an opportunity to have a government which will meet the demands of young workers.
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