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Chapter 19 Labour and Wages

  This chapter contains statistics on: "labour force" from the perspective of labour supply; "employment and working hours" from the aspect of employment demand, "domestic labour turnover," which indicates the mobility of labour force, "labour market," which illuminates an employment climate such as job offers, job seeking and getting employed, "labour union and labour dispute," which indicate the conditions of the labour side in bargaining," industrial accident," which reveals the loss of labour force, "wages," which discloses average and disparity of earnings, and "indexes and derived statistics," which summarize input-output analyses of labour demand, and labour and wage indexes showing time-series movements of labour and wages in the form of index numbers.

Labour Force

Population Census (Fundamental Statistics)

  Refer to the section "Population census" in Chapter 2 Population and Households for the purposes, date, coverage, and survey items of the Population Census.

Labour force Status in the Population Census

  In the population censuses taken in 1920, 1930 and 1940, the "method of gainful workers" was adopted in which persons were classified into "gainful workers" or "persons other than gainful workers" depending on whether he/she had a job. This report presents a direct comparison of the figures without any modifications, concerning the population of 15 years and over with the figures of those censuses, based on the assumption that the "gainful workers" and the "persons other than gainful workers" are analogous to "the employed" and "not in labour force" respectively. In each population census since 1947 the "labour force status" was based on the fact during the week from September 24 to September 30 in each population census year as follows:

Labour force status 

Labour Force Survey (Fundamental Statistics)

  This survey was started in September 1946 in order to clarify monthly changes in the employment status among the residents in Japan. It has been conducted as the designated survey No. 30 since April 1950, and it was identified in April 2009 as Fundamental Statistics under the Statistics Law. The survey is carried out as a sample survey. Initially the size of the sample was approximately 15,000 households (involving about 50,000 persons of 14 years and over). The survey was conducted by the interview method and a ratio estimate method was used to compile the data.

  Subsequently the survey was revised several times. The survey method was changed to the self-enumeration method in September 1967, and in January 1983 sample size was expanded to approximately 40,000 households (involving about 100,000 persons of 15 years and over).

  In this survey, two kinds of questionnaires are used: basic questionnaire and special questionnaire. The former is used to survey the employment status and the basic attributes of each person, whereas the latter is used to explore more detailed. The categories of the employment status follow the classification used in the population census.

Employment Status Survey (Fundamental Statistics)

  This survey was conducted almost every three years during the period from 1956 to 1982. Since 1982, it has been conducted every five years as a sample survey. Its purpose is to shed light on the structure of employment, facts about labour movements and what people want with regard to employment, both nationally and regionally, surveying the usual status of employment. The survey is conducted on a sample of approximately 1,000,000 persons aged 15 and over who habitually live in about 450,000 households chosen from all over the country.

  The survey topics include the basic attributes of an individual, the usual status of employment and his/her thoughts/feelings about employment. The usual status of employment is classified as follows.

Usual Status of Employment 

Employment and Working Hours

Establishments and Enterprise Census (Fundamental Statistics)

  Refer to the section "Establishments and Enterprises Census" in Chapter 6 Business Activity.

Monthly Labour Survey (Fundamental Statistics)

  The survey has been conducted on a monthly basis to obtain a clear understanding of fluctuations in employment, wages and working hours. It originated from the "Monthly Survey of Factory Worker's Wages" and the "Monthly Survey of Miner's Wages," which were started in July 1923. Subsequently, they were revised several times and underwent an extensive revision in December 1946. In 1948, the survey was reorganized on the basis of based on the sampling theory, thereby continuing to the today's survey.

  The survey consists of a national survey, a local survey and a special survey. The national and local surveys are designed to explore offices that regularly employ five or more workers, whereas the special survey is conducted for offices that regularly employ from one to four persons.

  The topics of the national and local surveys include the size of the enterprise, an increase or a decrease in the number of workers by sex and by job, the number of days worked, the number of scheduled and non-scheduled actual working hours and cash earnings. The special survey is conducted on each individual worker and additionally explores his/her age and the years of his/her service.

Survey on Employment Management

  The purpose of the survey is to look into the employment management system pertaining to regular workers of private enterprises in key industries. It was started in 1968.

  The survey covers enterprises that regularly employ 30 or more workers. The survey topics include the attributes of enterprise, the performance rating system such as personnel reshuffle and promotion, and the personnel policy.

General Survey on Working Conditions

  A survey on the system of working hours was carried out in 1953 to gain a better understanding of the working conditions of private enterprises in key industries including wage system, system of working hours, labour cost, welfare facilities and system, and retirement allowance system and its payment. Subsequent to several revisions, the name was changed to the present one in 2000. The survey covers enterprises that regularly employ 30 workers or more in its head office.

Labour Turnover

Survey on Employment Trends

  The purpose of the survey is to illuminate the movement of workers among regions, industries, occupations, and among different size of enterprises, and the state of vacancies. The survey topics include the recruitment, resignation and job offers of an establishment and the attributes of an individual worker such as his/her former job and reasons for working for or resigning from the establishment. Its prototype is the "Survey of Domestic Labour Migration" that was started in 1952. After several revisions, the survey has been conducted as the "Survey on Employment Trends" in the present form since 1999.

  The survey covers all the industries, except agriculture, forestry and fisheries, nationwide. The sample of the survey is about 13,000 private, public and state-run establishments that regularly employ five or more workers. It involves approximately 80,000 persons who have joined and about 110,000 persons who have resigned from such establishments during the survey year.

  Concerning an establishment, the survey is designed to investigate the total number of workers regularly employed by the enterprise, the number of labour movements, the number of part-time workers and the number of job offers that have not been filled. Concerning the new recruit and retiree, it explores his/her age, last formal schooling, form of employment or form of employment immediately before his/her resignation, motivations for working or reasons for resigning, former job and the period of unemployment. With respect to a person who has been transferred to the establishment, the survey topics include his/her age, the number of service years, type of job before and after his/her transfer and reasons for the move.

Labour Market

Administrative Reports on Employment Security

  The reports are used as reference materials for the management of employment security administration. They are useful also for understanding the actual conditions and time-series transitions of labour markets. Thus, the Employment Security Bureau of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare prepares the "Job Placement Administrative Report," "Vocational Training Administrative Report," "Unemployment Insurance Report" and "Administrative Report on Visits to Employers." The origin can be traced to the Job Exchange Law enacted in 1921. The contents of these reports include:

General job placement:

The number of officially registered job seekers during the month, the number of new applicants, the number of officially registered job openings, the number of job placements and the number of the getting employed

Job placement of day labourers:

The number of officially registered job seekers, the aggregate number of persons who worked, the number of persons who actually worked and the aggregate number of persons who did not work

School Basic Survey

      Refer to the relevant section of Chapter 25 Education.

Labour Union and Labour Disputes

General Survey on Labour Relations

      A survey of labour unions was conducted in June 1947 for the first time to obtain comprehensive information on the organizations of all labour unions and the communication between labour and management in Japan. Subsequently, the survey underwent several revisions. Since 1983, the survey has been conducted under the current name, "General Survey on Labour Relations."

      The survey covers all the labour unions in Japan. It is composed of the Labour Union Basic Survey and the Labour Union Factual Survey.

Labour Disputes Statistics

      The survey was started in 1948 in order to grasp the labour disputes in Japan and use its findings as basic materials for labour administration. A labour dispute is defined as strife that involves protest action such as union strike, closure of a workplace and sabotage, and also a struggle in which no protest action is taken but a third party such as labour relations commission intervenes for its settlement. Such labour disputes are investigated under this survey.

Industrial Accident

Survey of Industrial Accidents

      A survey on industrial accidents was started in 1952 under the name of the "Monthly Survey of Industrial Accidents." It was intended to clarify trends in industrial accidents for a half year or for a full year and utilize its findings as basic materials for the administration of welfare and labor. Subsequently, after several revisions, it was revised to the present survey in 1980. The survey consists of Survey A and Survey B. Survey A is for establishments that regularly employ 100 workers or more, whereas Survey B is for establishments that regularly employ from ten to ninety-nine workers. The survey is a sample survey.

Mine Safety Statistics

      The first survey was conducted in 1949, when the Mine Safety Law was enacted, in order to explore the transition of industrial accidents in mining every month and use its findings as basic data for the administration of mining safety.

      The survey covers all the mining right holders concerning coal and lignite mining, metal and nonmetal mining and oil mining.


Basic Survey on Wage Structure (Fundamental Statistics)

      This survey has been conducted to shed light on the wages of regular workers employed by key industries. It is intended to reveal the wage structure by industry, region, scale of enterprise, type of worker, sex, occupation, academic background, age, service years and the years of experience. It originated in the "Survey on Wages by Individual Worker," which was started in 1948. Afterwards it underwent several revisions. In 1958 it was titled the "Basic Survey of Wage Structure."

      It covers establishments that regularly employ five or more workers.

Wage Survey of Outdoor Workers by Occupation (Designated Statistics No. 53, This survey ended in 2004.)

      The prototype of this survey is the "Wage Survey on Day Labourers," which was first conducted in November 1948 to reveal the actual conditions of wages earned by labourers who were employed in projects pertaining to the construction industry and transportation service in harbors. The survey was revised several times. The survey was given its present name in 1957.

      In the construction industry the survey is carried out at establishments that regularly employ five or more workers. With respect to other industries, the survey covers establishments and employers that regularly employ ten or more workers.

Survey of Compensation in Private Industry by Occupation

      The survey has been implemented every year since 1948 to compare and review the salary of national and local public service personnel, which are regulated by the National Public Service Law and the Local Public Service Law respectively, vis-a-vis the earnings of employees in the private sector. The survey is conducted on a sample of enterprises with 100 workers or more and their establishments that hire 50 workers or more.

      Concerning an establishment, topics of the survey include the name of its main products or its business contents, the number of employees by occupation specified for the survey, total earnings, the number of paid employees, payment of various allowances and remuneration revisions. The survey topics for the employee include his/her sex, age, academic background, earnings or first monthly salary, overtime pay and post allowance.


Employment index

      The index of regular workers is calculated by converting the estimated number of workers at the end of each month into an index. However, it is difficult to attain a good grip of establishments that are the targets of the survey because new establishments may be founded or some may be expanded. It is highly likely, therefore, that the estimated number of workers will be biased. Hence, taking the number of regular workers from the Establishments and Enterprises Census as a benchmark, the index is amended retroactively to the time of the former census.

Index of working hours

      Since 1952, the Ministry of Labour (currently the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare) has released three indexes of working hours for establishments with a regular staff of 30 or more based on the findings of its Monthly Labour Survey. They are the index of total actual working hours, the index of scheduled working hours and the index of non-scheduled hours worked.

      These indexes are obtained from the Monthly Labour Survey. That is, the average monthly number of total actual working hours per employee, the number of scheduled working hours and the number of non-scheduled hours worked are converted into the indexes.

Wage index

Nominal wage index:

This is an index obtained from "total cash earnings," "contractual cash earnings" and "average monthly scheduled cash earnings" per regular employee.

Real wage index:

This is an index obtained by dividing the nominal wage index by the consumer price index compiled by the Statistics Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Two indexes, the index of total cash earnings and the index of scheduled cash earnings, have been compiled since 1955.

Wage rate index and labour rate variance

      The change in average wage includes changes in the composition of workers as well as changes in wages caused by the quality of labor. It is necessary to eliminate such factors as changes in the composition of workers as much as possible to obtain an index that correctly reflects trends in wage rates. To that end, the Japan Research Institute of Labour computes the indexes of the fixed composition of workers by sex, academic background, age and service year. The composition of the base year is fixed for five year. These indexes are connected and converted into the Laspeyres indexes of scheduled cash earnings that are calculated against the base year. The indexes are publicly released.

Labour demand inducement of final demand

      The theory of input/output analysis states that the final demand (ex. private consumption) induces industrial production, thereby generating derived demand including labour demand. This report contains such labour demand in relation to final demand for every five years since 1960 in terms of worker's base and employee's base.


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