The white paper analyzes that the recent 2 percent reduction in total hours actually worked brings on a 0.85 percent, or 240,000 rise in white-collar workers together with an increase in the number of part-timers. Shortening of work hours, however, also gives a boost to the rate of hourly wages, and thus a 2 percent cut in work hours slashes 10,000 white-collar jobs, bringing the net increase in the number of white-collar workers to 230,000.
From these three economic factors, it can be seen that economic fluctuations in the past year reduced the overall demand for white-collar workers by about 70,000 (based upon assumption of 20 percent yen appreciation).
Loss of 70,000 jobs for white-collar workers cannot stir a debate over "excess employment of white-collar workers," the annual report points out. In actuality, however, the high growth of over 5 percent during the bubble years increased demand for white-collar workers by about 1.2 million annually. The economic slowdown suddenly destroyed this situation, thus creating a social problem, the annual report stresses.
Meanwhile, according to the report's calculations, the number of white-collar workers with college degrees has been rising by about 840,000 (approximately 1.2 million college graduates as a whole) each year now that members of the second baby-boom generation are currently reaching job-search age. The increased supply of new labor further intensifies difficulty of graduates in finding jobs and thus fuels excess labor conditions, the annual report notes.
Demand for white-collar workers with college educations will only increase by 360,000 because of negative growth, a strong yen and the rise in real wages, and lack of demand for 500,000 white-collar workers has created unemployment and further redundancies, the annual report concludes.
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