Working Poor

In Japan, the number of young people who fall under the category of “working poor” has been increasing since the end of 1990s. Because Japanese economy has been stagnant over the past decade, Japanese corporations reduced the number of “career” employees so more people are working as temporary employees who don’t receive the same benefits as the career full-time employees would qualify for. Moreover, the number of employees who have been laid off has increased and these people have no choice but to take available jobs which don’t provide sufficient income or the benefits needed to survive. Surprisingly, many young people are using the internet cafe to sleep in order to go to the next one-day only job provided by their temp agencies.

The major issue here is that Japanese corporations still prefer to hire career full-time employees from the new college graduates. So if you miss an opportunity to get a full-time career job during your senior year in college, you are going to have much more difficult time getting a stable career full-time position with benefits. But why has the number of working poor people continued to increase? In this NHK documentary, they interview young working poor males who have become the victims of collapsed Japanese economy and lack “motivation” due to Japan’s traditional life-employment system.



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