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Might the labour market be looser than it appears?

There is a plausible argument that widespread “underemployment” of employees who would like to work longer hours means that labour market conditions in Japan are not as tight as the historically-low unemployment rate suggests. We find no evidence that this is the case, though an increase in the number of part-time workers probably has helped ease labour shortages. But the key reason why wage growth remains muted is the lifetime employment model which is keeping job mobility very low.
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More from Japan

Japan Data Response

Japan Industrial Production (May 2022)

The plunge in industrial output in May suggests that Japan’s recovery is disappointing yet again. The upshot is that it will take until the second half of the year for GDP to surpass its pre-virus level. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

30 June 2022

Japan Data Response

Japan Retail Sales (May 2022)

The disappointing rise in retail sales in May poses downside risks to our upbeat forecasts for consumption growth in Q2. Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

29 June 2022

Japan Economics Weekly

Respite for BoJ doesn’t weaken case for a policy tweak

Pressure on the Bank of Japan’s Yield Curve Control framework eased this week. On the campaign trail for the Upper House election, where inflation has emerged as a key concern, Prime Minister Kishida said that monetary tightening would do more harm than good. Even more welcome for the BoJ, pressure emanating from the bond market has dropped back too. It had to buy less than a tenth as many JGBs this week as last. Some might feel that this reduces the need to shore up the policy framework. But a respite provides a window in which to make it more resilient.
Asia Drop-In (30th June, 09:00 BST/16:00 SGT): Are Asia’s central banks behind the curve? Can the Bank of Japan and People’s Bank of China continue to go against the grain? Find out in our special session on what global monetary tightening looks like in Asia. Register now.  

24 June 2022

More from Capital Economics Economist

UK Commercial Property Data Response

RICS Construction Market Survey (Q3)

The deterioration in workload expectations is consistent with the fact that, with Brexit uncertainty prolonged and commercial property values expected to fall, a strong increase in the construction activity is unlikely.

7 November 2019

European Data Response

German Industrial Production (May)

May’s industrial data add to the evidence that the weakness in the sector earlier in the year was at least partly down to temporary factors. Overall, the German economy has clearly shifted down a gear this year, but we expect growth to remain fairly strong.

6 July 2018

European Data Response

Euro-zone Retail Sales (May)

May’s euro-zone retail sales data were a little weaker than expected, but still imply that the consumer sector fared better in Q2 than in Q1. And looking ahead, we think that household spending will remain a key driver of economic growth in the region.

3 July 2018
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