In October 2000, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare conducted its survey on the employment situation and outlook of workers between the ages of 55 and 69 for the first time in four years. Targeting some 26,000 people, the results showed that 70.9 percent of males and 44.2 percent of females in this age bracket were still working, the main reason being "economic."Broken down by category, "employees" accounted for the highest proportion for both men and women (58.4% for males and 51.9% for females), followed by "self-employed" and "company or organization executive" for males, and "self-employed" and "working in family business" for females. The percentage of those employed by others declines with age, as does working hours.
The overwhelming majority of both males and females explained that they continued to work due to "economic reasons" (81.5% of the males and 67.2% of females), while more than 10 percent of all females and males aged 65 to 69 replied "to make life worth living or to participate in society."Continuing work for economic reasons is closely related to old-age pensions. Fifty-one percent of the males surveyed were receiving an average monthly pension of ¥166,000, while 47.7 percent of the females received an average of ¥81,000 per month. The monthly pension payment was ¥103,000 for males between the ages of 55 to 59, ¥162,000 for those 60 to 64, and ¥173,000 for those aged 65 to 69. For females between the ages of 55 to 59 the monthly pension was ¥105,000, ¥75,000 for those aged 60 to 64, and ¥84,000 among females 65 to 69. Of such pensioners, one-third of the males received ¥100,000 or less per month, and as did three-quarters of the females. The ratio of employed who were receiving pensions was 53.8 percent among males, and 31.9 percent among females. However, the figure for male pensioners receiving ¥100,000 or less per month was higher: 70 to 90 percent for those aged 60 to 64, and 60 to 70 percent among those 65 to 69.
Meanwhile, those who wished to work but did not do so said that the main problem was "not finding the appropriate job" (63.7% of males and 45.1% of females), followed by "health reasons" (22.3% and 21.6%, respectively). A breakdown of the reasons for "not finding the appropriate job," show the majority "could not find a job which would take advantage of my skills and experience" (66.7% for males and 44.7% for females), followed by "working hours did not meet my wishes" (7.4% and 16.3%, respectively).
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