The labor ministry is projecting that 54.49 million people will have jobs in 2030, or 8.21 million fewer than in 2012.
The estimate, which assumes zero economic growth and no change in the proportions of female and elderly workers, was disclosed at a meeting Monday of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s study group on medium- to long-term labor policies.
The group believes that a drop in the labor supply could dampen economic growth amid the country’s falling birthrate and aging population.
According to the estimate, job holders would drop by only 1.67 million to 61.03 million in 2030 if the government hits targets in its growth strategy and promotes female workforce participation.
If women in their 30s can be deterred from leaving their jobs to have and raise children, the female workforce in 2030 is seen expanding by 430,000 from 2012, the ministry said.
Based on the latest estimates, the group said in a draft proposal that Japan should realize a society that all people can participate in.
It underlined the need to prevent a fall in the labor supply hurting economic growth by promoting the job market participation of women, the elderly, the disabled, young people without jobs and foreigners.