Vol.32-No.05 May 1,1993
Manufacuring fi;rms implementing employment adjustments, such as restrictions on overtime, between October and December 1992 surged to 40 percent of the total, comparable to the peak fi;gure in the 1986-87 endaka (or rising yen) recession, according to a Ministry of Labour report announced on March 11. Compared with the endaka recession, a sense of oversupply of white-collar workers, such as those in offi;ce management and clerical jobs, is relatively strong in the present recession. Furthermore, according to a survey of concrete measures to cope with the recession, conducted by the Research Institute of Labour Aff;airs Administration, a private research organ, between October and December 1992, one out of every four fi;rms has already implemented or is planning a relocation of surplus workers from divisions and about 40 percent have cut or eliminated overtime. Replies were received from 485, or 11.1 percent of the 4350 stock exchange-listed, middle-sized and smaller-scale fi;rms polled across the nation. The survey also found that over 40 percent of the fi;rms had slashed entertainment expenses. This year the corporations recruited 36.2 percent fewer college graduates than the previous year, and 16.7 percent of the fi;rms questioned have cut executive pay. If those planning to do so are included, the fi;gure exceeds 20 percent.
Corporations cutting costs by slashing or eliminating overtime account for 40 percent of the total. The larger the manufacturing fi;rm, the higher the percentage taking such action. In addition, 14 percent have stopped contracting for dispatched workers; 8.3 percent suspended renewal of contracts with or dismissed temporary and part-time workers; 7.4 percent have implemented transfers to subsidiaries and other related fi;rms including tenseki (literally transfers of permanent domicile) and seven percent are off;ering special early-retirement packages.
However, the percentage of those fi;rms which have taken these measures remain characteristically at a low level. A little less than one percent of fi;rms have implemented layoff;s, active recruitment of voluntary retirees and/or dismissal.
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