Business

Income for Japan's nonregular workers falling fast amid virus crisis

Jiji

The coronavirus pandemic is reducing the incomes of a wide range of nonregular workers across the nation, according to a survey by the Research Institute for Advancement of Living Standards.

Nonregular workers earn less than most regular employees and many are paid by the hour. This means they were much more susceptible to loss of income when companies suspended operations or shortened business hours at the government’s request, the survey revealed.

Of the respondents, 56.8 percent of temporary workers, mostly students, and 52.7 percent of dispatch workers said their incomes had dropped, according to the survey.

Of those with part-time jobs, including many housewives, 49.8 percent said their income dropped.

The ratio of regular workers who had suffered income drops meanwhile stood at 34.6 percent.

According to the survey, some 60 to 70 percent of nonregular workers said they ahd seen a decline in working days or hours.

By industry, sharp drops in working time were most prominent in the restaurant and hotel sector, the services industry and the manufacturing industry.

Many working in the transportation, finance and insurance, and medical and welfare sectors meanwhile said they saw working time pick up.

Businesses can cut the wages of nonregular workers if their working days are reduced, Toyoji Sugiyama, deputy director-general of the institute, said. “They are the best target for labor cost cuts,” he said.

Now that the government’s emergency declaration covers all 47 prefectures, nonregular workers’ wages may deteriorate further, he said.

As for measures at workplaces to prevent coronavirus infections, the largest ratio, 55 percent, said they were using face masks and alcohol-based disinfectants.

Only about 18 percent of the respondents said they were making use of telecommuting or staggered commuting, two key measures called for by the government.

The online survey was conducted from April 1 to 3 and drew responses from 4,307 private-sector workers in their 20s to early 60s.

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