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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 July 15 - 21  > Majority of single-parent families living in poverty
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2015 July 15 - 21 [WELFARE]

Majority of single-parent families living in poverty

July 16, 2015
It has come to light that a majority of single-parent families in Japan are forced to live under the poverty line, with an annual income less than about two million yen or 16,100 U.S. dollars.

The Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training (JILPT), an independent administrative agency, published on June 30 the survey results of annual incomes of families with small children.

The survey shows that the percentage of single-parent households living under the poverty line increased from 38.4% in 2012 to 54.2% in 2014. The poverty rate of two-parent families was 7.3% in 2014, almost unchanged over the past two years.

Meanwhile, a report recently released by the OECD indicates that in 2014, the decrease in real wages of workers in Japan was the highest among member nations.

According to that report, the OECD Employment Outlook 2015, the average real wages of workers in Japan decreased 2.2% from the previous year, followed by Portugal (-2.1%), Mexico (-0.8%), and the Netherlands (-0.7%). Workers’ wages fell in eight countries in 2014 among the 34 OECD members. In the G7, Japan is the only nation experiencing a wage decline.

These findings show that the consumption tax hike forcibly implemented in April 2014 and the so-called “Abenomics” economic policy lowering the value of the yen relative to other hard currencies have substantially contributed to bringing down the living standard of people in Japan.

The OECD report also points out that the sharp increase in the number of women contingent workers has led to a widening in pay disparities in Japan.
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