Employment promotion measures to remove job insecurity by creating jobs and ensuring employment security
The Employment Security Bureau is making full efforts to promote employment security and outplacement in the present severe job situation. In line with the change in the economic and industrial structure, it also aims to wipe away people's concern about employment insecurity and build an economic society full of hope and vitality by pressing ahead with employment promotion measures centering on the creation of jobs in the new growth areas of industry and the elimination of mismatches between job seekers and job offers.
Creation of attractive employment
To cope with the difficult unemployment situation, it is important to create attractive employment opportunities along with efforts to maintain the current level of employment and to provide support for outplacement and other related activities.
Therefore, the Employment Security Bureau is promoting a plan called "Total project to create employment in the new growth areas" aimed at the specific sectors of industry with growth potential that are likely to offer increasing job opportunities. By helping the establishment of companies in the new growth areas, including venture businesses, this project is designed to facilitate the movement of workers into such sectors and create job opportunities.
The bureau also aims to secure good employment opportunities at small and medium companies by providing support in various ways, such as subsidizing their employment of new workers when they start business or enter a different field of business.
Elimination of mismatch between labour supply and demand
(1) Support for smooth movement of workers by public employment security offices
Active use of information and communication technologies is being encouraged to effectively offer various services and information from public employment security offices. Specifically, the Internet is used on a trial basis to provide information on job offers received at the public employment security offices in the Metropolitan and Kinki areas as well as in other large cities known as ordinance-designated cities, other job-related information (information on subsidies, labor market, etc) and an outline of services available from the employment security offices.
To secure job opportunities under the harsh unemployment situation, full efforts are being made to develop job markets by posting the staff on that task and working in cooperation with the economic groups. At the same time, arrangements are being made to permit job seekers to access work-related information by setting up " Hello Work Information Plaza" in the Metropolitan and prefectures as a basis for providing employment information secured.
(2) Improvement to private labor demand and supply system
In line with the adoption of Article 181 of the ILO treaty that covers private employment-related services, including employment agencies and temporary staffing agencies, and the changes in the social and economic situation, the laws for staffing service and employment security were revised with consideration given to the protection of workers in order to adequately deal with the structural reform of Japanese economy and strengthen the function of making adjustments of the labor supply and demand relationship. These laws have been in effect since December 1999.
Amid the progress of technological revolution and the increase of workers who wish to work in varied ways, there has occurred a change in the relationship between labour supply and demand. The Employment Security Bureau is trying to make the employment system thoroughly known to people and conduct guidance and supervision over the private temporary staffing agencies and employment agencies so that their non-government labour supply and demand adjustment function can be fully utilized and adequately operated.
Employment promotion measures for young people, including support for job hunting by new school graduates
For new graduates, finding employment means a great turning point from school to career life and therefore its smooth transition is desired.
However, the employment situation for new graduates has been severe, with the resultant increase in the number of those graduating without employment prospects. There are also many graduates who leave their jobs early due to the lack of their understanding of the work they have chosen.
To cope with the situation, the Employment Security Bureau is supporting new graduates who are seeking jobs, by offering employment information and employment counseling, and introducing prospective employers to students. To help students develop their occupational awareness and make the right choice of their jobs, the bureau is also making efforts to promote the introduction of an internship program under which students have a work experience while at school, besides giving seminars and holding study trips to places of work.
Establishment of employment safety network
An employment insurance system is established as a core of an employment-related safety network. Under the system, necessary unemployment benefits are paid, such as job seeker benefits (basic allowances), child-care and nursing care benefits, and training and education benefits. Besides this, various employment promotion measures are being implemented, including three projects (concerned with employment security, workers' ability development and employment welfare).
[ Changes in the unemployment rate, Officially registered job openings against officially registered job applications, Officially registered job openings, Officially registered job applications ]
The rate of job offers to job seekers in April was 0.56, an increase of 0.03 percentage point from the preceding month and a recovery to the levels of April 1998. The full unemployment rate was 4.8 percent, down 0.1 percentage point from the preceding month, but it is still continuing at high levels.
While the employment situation is still severe, there are signs of some improvement with job offers from companies on the steady increase.