The government has decided to draw up a program aimed at facilitating stable employment of nonregular workers in their 30s and 40s who were unable to obtain regular positions upon graduation from universities or other educational institutions due to the tough job market at the time.

Under the program, the government will provide intensive support to such workers over the next three years or so. The decision was made during Wednesday’s meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.

The government is concerned that if the number of nonregular workers and jobless people remains high, it will lead to an increase in social security costs in the future and hamper improvements in the productivity of the economy.

It hopes to boost economic growth by correcting income gaps and helping those workers secure stable jobs.

“We’ll figure out the number of people in need of support in each region and tackle the problem by setting numerical targets,” Abe told the meeting. He instructed ministers concerned to speed up their efforts to identify concrete measures that can be included in the government’s economic and fiscal policy guidelines, slated to be drawn up this summer.

Specifically, the government will boost efforts to help nonregular workers in their 30s and 40s develop their abilities and increase income, by setting up related departments staffed by experts at Hello Work public job placement offices across the nation and other organizations that support employment, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The government will also study the possibility of easing conditions for providing subsidies to companies that increase the employment of mid-career workers, the sources said.

Among nonregular workers aged between 35 and 44 in Japan, hundreds of thousands are thought to be hoping to secure regular employment status, according to the sources.

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