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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 10 - 16  > Number of working poor remains above 10 million for 12 years in a row
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2018 October 10 - 16 [LABOR]

Number of working poor remains above 10 million for 12 years in a row

October 11, 2018

The number of working poor whose annual income is less than two million yen has remained above 10 million for 12 years in a row. This was shown in the National Tax Agency’s statistical data regarding workers’ wages in 2017.

One of the factors behind a large number of working poor is an increase in the number of low-paid contingent workers.

According to other government data, the number of working poor topped the 10 million mark in 2005 for the first time, reaching 16.3 million. Last year, the figure increased to 20.4 million. During the same period of time, the percentage of non-regular workers among the total number of workers also increased to 37.3% from 32.6%, up 4.7 percentage points.

Another factor is the insufficiently low level of minimum wages.

This month, new minimum wage rates came into effect. The highest is Tokyo’s 985 yen per hour and the national average is 874 yen. This means that full-time annual earnings will be 1.83 million yen at Tokyo’s minimum hourly wage and 1.63 million yen at the average minimum wage.

The government should be blamed for implementing measures that increase non-regular jobs and keep down the minimum wage level.

Past related articles:
> Zenroren takes to streets in solidarity with global action for higher minimum wages [ October 3, 2018]
> Labor thinktank: 20,000-yen wage hike needed to boost household consumption [January 19, 2018]
> Proportion of non-regular workers hits all-time high [February 2, 2017]

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