December 4, 2016
The number of the “working poor” who earn less than two million yen in annual income has been showing an upward trend in large companies in Japan.
According to a survey conducted by the National Tax Agency, out of workers employed by corporations with a capital of more than one billion yen, those who earned only up to two million yen a year increased by 20% to 1.4 million in 2015 from about 1.17 million in 2012.
During the same period of time, regarding salary earners at all business entities, the percentage of less than 2-million-yen annual income rose by 0.3%. From this figure, it can be learned that it is large corporations that employ a large proportion of the working poor.
Many major companies have been replacing full-time employees with temporary workers. About 1.5 million people worked on fix-term contracts in 2012 and the number showed an increase of 31% in 2015, amounting to about 1.95 million workers. In comparison, all business entities experienced a 14%-rise during this time period.
The government data also shows that the larger the companies are, the larger the gap in salaries between regular and contingent employees. This indicates that in regard to all business establishments, non-regular staffers received 35.2% of the wages that regular workers did. However, as for companies capitalized at one billion yen, the figure is 27.1%.