More than half of the nation’s homeless people under age 35 used to be nonregular employees, according to a survey by the welfare ministry, which plans to review its basic policies in support of those living on the streets by next summer.
Based on the results released Friday by a ministry panel, 42 percent of all respondents said they were previously full-time workers. This figure declined to 23.5 percent among those under 35, however, because the majority of homeless people in this age bracket — 52.9 percent — were nonregular workers, including temporary and part-time employees, the highest percentage in any age group.
In the 35 to 44 age bracket, the percentage of nonregular employees was about 46.4 percent.
Of all respondents, 45.9 percent were previously in the construction or mining sectors, the highest figure. Among those under 35, 41.2 percent were in the service industry, followed by construction and mining at only 5.9 percent.
The panel pointed out that it is necessary to recognize the problem of young homeless people as one caused by changes in the nation’s industrial structure and the job market.
The survey, carried out every five years, was conducted in January under a 2002 law enacted to help the homeless become financially independent. Some 1,400 homeless people were interviewed.