Nagoya – Up to 3.01 million jobs could be lost in Japan due to the new coronavirus pandemic in the year through next March, an impact more serious than the 2008 to 2009 global financial crisis, a research institute said Wednesday.
In the worst case scenario analyzed, in which containment of the global virus is achieved at the end of this year, Japan would see a 4.5 percent fall in the number of workers from the previous year, according to the Chubu Region Institute for Social and Economic Research based in Nagoya.
In fiscal 2009, the financial crisis accelerated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. led to about 950,000 people in Japan losing their jobs, resulting in a 1.5 percent decline in the number of workers, according to the institute.
The organization made its latest projection based on the assumption that the number of foreign visitors to Japan, which had buoyed consumption in retail, restaurant and tourism sectors, would not recover within fiscal 2020, which runs through next March.
By sector, the institute estimated retailers and wholesalers would see losses of 845,000 jobs, manufacturing 614,000 jobs, and accommodation and restaurants 589,000 jobs.
“At the time of the Lehman crisis it was mainly the manufacturing sector that was hard hit, but this time all sectors are affected. A sector that can take on jobs cannot be found,” said Ryoichi Namba, an economist at the institute.
The unemployment rate rose to a one-year high of 2.5 percent in March, signaling the negative impact of the global pandemic on the workforce, with analysts and government officials expecting the situation to become more severe in the following months.
Job availability also deteriorated to 1.39 in March from 1.45 in February, hitting its lowest level in three and a half years, according to government data released in late April. The ratio means there were 139 job openings for every 100 job seekers.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.