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Home > Research and Studies > Bank of Japan Working Paper Series, Review Series, and Research Laboratory Series > Bank of Japan Review Series 2004 > New Forms of Employment in Japan --On the Increasing Influence of Part-time, Dispatched, and Contracted Workers--

New Forms of Employment in Japan --On the Increasing Influence of Part-time, Dispatched, and Contracted Workers--

October 2004
Junnosuke Shino
Shin Nakahara

This series explains recent economic and financial topics in a plain and concise manner for a wide range of readers. The views expressed in the report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Bank of Japan.

Comments and questions as well as requests for hard copies should be addressed to Yoshihito Saito, Research and Statistics Department (yoshihito.saitou@boj.or.jp).

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"Non-regular employment," such as part-time, dispatched, and contracted workers in Japan, has expanded in recent years. This trend reflects a wider variety of lifestyles, the shift from fixed labor costs to variable labor costs by many firms, and deregulation. This augmentation of non-regular employment has shortened the employment period and reduced wages. On the other hand, many new jobs have been created under this process through improvements in corporate vitality. In line with these developments, an increasing number of firms are making adjustments to employment and wages through the labor market, instead of making adjustments within firms, implying a more prominent role for the labor market. A closer examination of today's labor market, however, shows that various mismatches exist. The employment situation has been relatively severe for male workers, who are inclined toward full-time employment, and the unemployment rate has remained high among the younger generation. The infrastructure of the labor market --including the training and reeducating facilities of human resources-- is in need of further improvements to make the matching function work more efficiently.