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News Bulletin

30 April 2009


NEWS HIGHLIGHTS

Employment situation of young females
 - The result of the Employment Status Survey -


   At present, Japan's population is on the verge of decline due to the low fertility rate and aged population. As the baby-boomers are reaching the retirement age, it has become a very important socio-economic issue for Japan to secure sufficient labor force that can support the economic growth and the provision of necessary social services. In this regard, labor participation of the females and the elderly is expected to be key elements of resolving the problems.
   This paper describes the employment situation of young females*1using the results of the 2007 Employment Status Survey conducted by the Statistics Bureau of Japan (SBJ).

   *1) "Young females" here refers to those females aged 15 to 39 years.

   

Labor participation rate of females showed steady rise in 1982 - 2007

   From 1982 to 2007, the number of females engaged in work aged 15 to 39 years increased steadily from 10,898 thousand to 11,692 thousand, and its labor participation rate rose from 49.4% to 59.4%. (Figure 1)
   The increase of the labor participation rates was particularly sharp from 2002 to 2007 for the age groups of "25 to 29" and "30 to 34", up by 4.8 points and 6.7 points respectively. (Figure 2)



Figure1   Number of females (15-39 years) engaged in work and the labor participation rate (1982-2007)

Number of females (15-39 years) engaged in work and the labor participation rate (1982-2007) 



Figure2   Labor participation rate by age group (females aged 15 - 39 years) (2002, 2007)

Labor participation rate by age group (females aged 15 - 39 years) (2002, 2007)


   

Labor participation rate of young married females with children rose sharply

   Among the households consisting of a married couple with child(ren)*2, the labor participation rate of wives becomes higher for higher age groups, and the highest was that for the group of 35 to 39 years at 54.8 %.
   From 2002 to 2007, the rates for the age groups of "25 to 29" and "30 to 34", who are more likely to have infants, sharply rose by 4.3 points and 5.7 points respectively. (Figure 3)

   *2)The households here include those households consisting of a married couple with child(ren) and parent(s). The age of the wive of the married couple here is limited to the range of 15 to 39 years. The total number of "the households consisting of a married couple with child(ren)" was 5,633 thousand in 2007.



Figure3   Labor participation rate of married females with child(ren) by age group in the household*2(2002, 2007)

Percentage of “working wives” by age group in the households<sup>*2</sup> (2002, 2007)

   

Labor participation rate of married females rose regardless of children's ages

   Among the households consisting of a married couple with child(ren), the labor participation rate of females with the youngest child aged less than 3 years was 33.1%, and that for the youngest child aged 9 to 11 years was 71.6%. As their children get older, the participation rate becomes higher, which suggests that the burden of child rearing eases as their children grow up.
   From 2002 to 2007, the participation rate rose for all age groups of the youngest children. The rise was the highest for the age group of 3 to 5 years, showing a rise by 5.7 points, while that for the youngest child aged less than 3 years also rose by 4.0 points. This fact suggests that the environment is becoming more favorable for working females who have to rear children. (Figure 4)



Figure4   Labor participation rate of married females by the age group of youngest child in the household*3 (2002, 2007)

Labor participation rate of married females by the age group of youngest child in the household<sup>*3</sup> (2002, 2007)

   *3)The household here refers to the household with a married couple with child(ren) and parent(s). The youngest child here refers to the youngest child of the married couple.


     (Source) The Employment Status Survey (SBJ)
     The Employment Status Survey is a sample survey conducted every five years by the SBJ.The most recent one was conducted as of October 2007 with a sample of approximately 1 million persons aged 15 years or older living in Japan. For further details, see the web site below.      
   http://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/shugyou/index.htm


   

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