Nearly 70% of care service providers in Japan were facing labor shortages, a survey conducted last year by an industry foundation showed, with the career often seen as less appealing due to its low wages and heavy workload.

The shortage is most pronounced for home visit caregivers, as 83.5% of geriatric and other caregiving facilities responded that they lack staff to provide the service, according to the survey conducted last October by the Care Work Foundation.

The survey covering 19,890 employees and 8,708 caregiving facilities nationwide showed 66.3% of nursing facilities were experiencing labor shortages, fueling concerns that an increasing number of people in graying Japan will not receive the care they require.

The survey also showed 69.1% of facilities had staff age 65 years or older, with over a quarter of home visit caregivers in that age bracket.

The average annual salary for caregivers with at least two years of experience stood at ¥3.76 million in 2021.

By service offered, 69.3% of facilities said they lack on-site caregiving staff, while 47.2% said they face a shortage of nursing staff.

Regarding the challenges faced in the operation of caregiving service businesses, over half cited difficulty in securing high-quality personnel, while many also said that government reimbursements for nursing are insufficient to provide adequate wages that make recruitment and retention of staff less challenging.