Younger Japanese face a more and more challenging local labor market. Although the unemployment in Japan is not comparable to other countries around the world, the shift from employee contract to time based contract employee with less job security is going on. Based on a recent article in Japan Times, the ratio of nonregular workers in the labor force in 2011 hit a record average high of 35.2 percent (excluding the affected March quake and tsunami regions), up 0.8 point from 2010. The rise appears to have stemmed from the growing tendency of firms to hire fewer young people as regular workers and rehire veteran workers on a contract basis after their retirement. To make matters worse, not only younger workers face a tougher environment: The ratio of nonregular workers came to a record 32.6 percent among people aged between 15 and 34, while that among workers aged 55 and over was 51.5 percent, also an all-time high.
Having the above in mind the last months overview of the top preferred companies to work for as young Japanese seems not surprising. It seems to me a list of safe companies, when all the trendy companies seem missing.
1. Nihon Seimei Insurance
2. Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance
3. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi
4. Sumitomo Mitsui Bank Corporation
5. Mitsui Sumitomo Fire Insurance
6. Songai Insurance Japan
7. Daiichi Seimei Insurance
8. Mizuho Financial Group
9. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust Bank
10. Santory Holdings
How would you decide? Do you think you would prefer to play it safe and go for banks or insurances? Or even some established start-up companies? Or even a foreign-owned company? I am not sure if I had been brought up here whether I would be as a young adult brave enough to make a unique decision and stand out. Contrary in Switzerland the focus was less on the company, but then I sensed pressure to join the “right” job so that I could enjoy my time at work. At the end everything worked out for me fine. I can only hope the young Japanese can say the same about their career choice in a few years.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (伊藤シビル)