Research Series

home Publications Research Series


해당 컨텐츠 트위터에 추가하기 해당 컨텐츠 페이스북에 추가하기

Foreign Case Studies on Youth Labor Market and Employment Policies: Japan
Foreign Case Studies on Youth Labor Market and Employment Policies: Japan
  • Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Introduction

    Chapter 2. Analysis of Japan’s Labor Market Trends

    Chapter 3. Japan’s Youth Employment Policies

    Chapter 4. Evaluation of Japan’s Youth Employment Policies and Policy Implications



    Since the youth labor market conditions in Japan have greatly improved recently, interest has been growing in youth employment policies. As is well known, during the long-term economic downturn in Japan, it was harder for youths to find employment as in other countries, which must have caused serious concerns on the part of the government. Therefore, much attention has been paid to what employment policies of Japan were implemented by the government and whether such policies had positive effects.

    The implications of Japan’s youth employment policies are as follows.

    First, the ministries dealing with youth labor were linked cooperatively and the central government and local governments were linked systematically in pursuing policies. Korea’s youth employment policies are also implemented based on the linkage between ministries under the leadership of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. However, it is believed that Presidential Committee on Jobs introduced by the current administration has failed to fulfill its role properly, and all the ministries and local governments have come up with their own employment measures and pursuing redundant policies ineffectively. Therefore, it is high time to reconsider how to pursue convergent employment policies by role sharing and mutual linkage among ministries.

    Second, Japan provides vocational education and career guidance while students attend formal education institutions. And the government’s employment service center, Hello Work, provides intermediation services between schools and businesses, taking advantage of its efficient systems and laws for assisting students who have no employment experience to get help from the job placement infrastructure. This is possible because the country is equipped with infrastructures enabling active intermediation of public employment service centers. As of 2017, there were 544 Hello Work centers in Japan (436 head quarter offices, 95 branches, and 13 sub-branches). About 26,300 workers including 10,536 civil servants and 15,702 counselors were handling related tasks. Korea has been insisting on strengthening its employment infrastructure since the 1997 Asia Financial Crisis, but has neglected to strengthen its fundamentals of expanding employment stability institutions and improving their capabilities as it was too busy making short-term accomplishment of public job placement. Therefore, it is urgent to pursue reforms that properly build the infrastructure of public employment service, and to take concrete actions on how to link schools with businesses.

    Third, in Japan, the basic framework of all employment policies, including youth employment policies, is stipulated in the law, so it is possible to respond to economic and social changes and still maintain the basic framework. This means that it is unlikely that, when the regime is replaced, policy directions will suddenly change or the existing budgets will be cut or eliminated. Similarly, Korea needs to make efforts to establish legal grounds to provide stability for employment policies. In particular, improving relevant legislations should be considered so that employment policies can be implemented in a sustainable manner to achieve mid- to long-term policy goals of enhancing the employment environment and infrastructure, rather than focusing on providing short-term support.

    Fourth, it appears that most of the quantitative problems of youth employment have been resolved in Japan recently. However, in terms of quality, the problem of workers placed on the periphery of the labor market led by non-regular workers and of the NEET population excluded from the labor market still remains a serious issue. Therefore, it is important to establish social safety nets and reinforce support programs with an aim to protect vulnerable groups on the periphery of the labor market starting from adolescents, while continuing to promote quantitative employment policies.

    The problem of Korea’s youth employment is never light compared to that of Japan during its recession. While it is necessary to actively promote various employment measures to cope with economic downturns and crises, to enhance the vocational competency of youths, and to improve employment stability infrastructure, it would be fundamentally essential to promote the development of new growth industries by promptly pursuing industrial restructuring and implement stable macroeconomic management.


Sung-teak Kim's other publications : 8
{Research Series} posts
No Title Author Date Attach
3 Trade Liberalization and Its Impact on the Labor Market Sung-teak Kim April 03, 2006 Trade Liberalization and Its Impact on the Labor Market
2 Wages and the Labor Market in Korea Soo Kyeong Hwang, Jin-Ho Jeong, Sung-teak Kim, Jaeryang Nam April 20, 2005 Wages and the Labor Market in Korea
1 Demand for Manpower in the Information Technology Sector Jae-ho Keum,Soon-Hie Kang,Sung-teak Kim,Dong-Bae K September 09, 2003 Demand for Manpower in the Information Technology Sector