The Japanese labor market is now struggling on several fronts as small and mid-sized firms are looking for good talent. Shortages of drivers, construction workers, shop clerks, and carers are now in high demand, and it is becoming difficult for some firms to keep seats filled. The Japan trucking industry is now under pressure as there are 3 job openings for every 1 candidate. so the question is just how do these companies cope.
One small trucking company was interviewed and a senior manger made it clear that because of thin margins, the idea of giving workers raises or paying above market prices is a challenge, it just cannot be done. This article was sourced in the Financial Times. 14 May. This lack of upward pressure is to what the BoJ had in mind when it set the target of 2.0 percent inflation years ago – still that target is not attainable with current conditions.
And after two decades of deflation there are many firms that are not conditioned to hike salaries so the stagnant wage problem continues. Scheduled cash earnings fell 0.9% compared to a year ago and for blue collar workers there is little chance for increased wages. Some workers are now saying that under PM Abe, nothing has changed, just longer working hours.