• Kyodo News


Nonregular workers who have lost or will lose their jobs between last October and next month will number 207,381, mainly temporary ranks, up 8 percent from a similar survey in March, the labor ministry said Friday.

The number of regular employees who are expected to lose their jobs during the same period totals 18,315, a 46.5 percent jump from the previous survey, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The findings indicate corporate moves to cut personnel costs have spilled over to regular workers as well amid the deepening economic downturn.

The survey was based on data compiled through April 17. Data on regular workers were limited to business offices where at least 100 people are expected to lose their jobs.

The results are expected to intensify calls for the government of Prime Minister Taro Aso to formulate additional job-creation and economic stimulus measures.

Temporary workers accounted for 132,458, or more than 60 percent, of the estimated 207,381 job losses during the October-March half.

The remainder includes 44,250 contract employees.

Of the total, 48,545 nonregular employees, the largest number, lost their jobs in December, the month for many companies to settle business deals made in 2008. In March, the final month of fiscal 2008, 44,786 employees, the second-largest number, were idled.

Subsidy applications

The labor ministry said Friday 48,226 businesses applied for subsidies in March to help preserve jobs, up 57.5 percent from the preceding month.

The “employment adjustment subsidies” sought in the reporting month would cover 2,379,069 workers if approved, up 27.5 percent from February, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

The subsidies are aimed at maintaining employment even under severe business conditions.

An increasing number of firms are using the subsidies to offer vocational training to idle workers or to cover losses from suspensions, all while maintaining employment.

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