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News Bulletin

July 23, 2012


SBJ Reviews the Labour Force Survey

   The Statistics Bureau of Japan (SBJ) will conduct the Labour Force Survey using the new questionnaire from January 2013 in order to accurately grasp the employment/unemployment situation.


   Japan is experiencing a rapid change in its socioeconomic context, such as a rapid rise in the proportion of elderly people, a gradual change in employment structure and a diversification of working styles. In this situation, employment statistics such as the Labour Force Survey are required to respond to those changes. Furthermore, as described in "Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics (March 13, 2009 Cabinet Decision)", understanding the actual condition of non-regular employment as well as obtaining more accurate data on actual working hours is needed. With this more accurate data the labour statistics can respond to the change in enterprise activities and the diversification of working styles.

   Under these circumstances, the SBJ reviews the Labour Force Survey in order to provide more useful data for various employment policies in the future.

   The points of the review are as follows.

[Understanding the actual situation of non-regular employment]

   To comprehend the number of non-regular employees with limited duration contract, "Regular employee" in the current questionnaire will be subdivided into "Long-term employee with limited duration contract" and "Long-term employee with indefinite duration contract" in the new questionnaire.

   For timely understanding and analyzing the trend in non-regular employment, the type of employment, which until now has been compiled every quarter, will be compiled every month. In addition, "Contract employee or entrusted employee" will be subdivided into "Contract employee" and "Entrusted employee". The reason why the respondent works as a non-regular staff is also newly surveyed to analyze employees who work as non-regular staff in spite of wishing to obtain a job as regular staff, which also provides the relationship between non-regular staff and child-rearing/caring aged family member.

   Furthermore, in order to clarify the situation of dispatched workers in each industry, the respondents are requested to provide information on the establishments which they are dispatched to. (In the current questionnaire, the respondents are requested to report the information on establishments which they register with.)

   The SBJ aims at clarifying the detailed situation of non-regular employees and obtaining useful data for analysis on the background of increase in non-regular employees through this review.

[Obtaining more accurate data on actual working hours]

   To obtain more accurate data on actual working hours, "Weekly days of work" and "Monthly days of work" will be additionally surveyed. "Weekly hours of work" is continuously surveyed to enable the estimate of the annual hours of work.

[Analysis on graduates of graduate school]

   With increase in the number of graduates of graduate school, it is necessary to understand the relationship between their educational background and employment status. Thus "graduates of college or university incl. graduate school" will be subdivided into "graduates of college or university" and "graduates of graduate school".

[Other improvement]

   As several survey items will be added to the new questionnaire, some of the current survey items will be eliminated or simplified in order to reduce burden on respondents.

      (Source) Labour Force Survey (SBJ)
      For further survey information, see the website below.

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