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Labor force Japan 2000-2019

In 2019, the total labor force in Japan was composed of approximately 68.9 million people. Despite Japan’s aging population, the labor force increased from 2000 by more than half a million people.

Composition of the labor force

In recent years, women have increasingly joined the labor force in Japan, which is reflected by a growth of the female employment rate. This growing participation in the labor market is partly underpinned by an expansion of the service sector. The employment of women is seen as one of the possible solutions to the labor shortages brought about by demographic changes of the society. Next to women, the growing number of foreign workers as well as a higher participation of the elderly also have to be mentioned. A breakdown of the labor force by age groups showed that in 2019 roughly nine million people were continuing to participate in the labor market beyond the set retirement age of 65 years.

Measures against labor shortages

Due to its demographical circumstances, Japan has a very low unemployment rate. As a consequence, companies employ different strategies to secure labor. Among the leading measures against labor shortages as of February 2019, cultivating human resources ranked first, followed by encouraging the active participation of women.

Labor force in Japan from 2000 to 2019

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Release date

November 2020



Survey time period

2000 to 2019

Age group

15 years and older

Supplementary notes

*Supplementary-estimated figures (Referential figures: 2015 Population Census base) were used due to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The source defines the employed and unemployed population aged 15 years and older as labor force.

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Statistics on "Demographics in Japan"

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