1.21 million Japanese unemployed for more than a year
About 1.21 million Japanese people had been unemployed for more than a year at the end of 2010, up 260,000 from the previous year, the government said Monday.
The figure represented a record high since the country started compiling the relevant data in 2002, DPA reported.
Many non-regular employees in Japan were believed to have lost jobs following the world financial crisis in late 2008 and were unable to find new ones, which suggested the job markets still face stagnation.
Non-regular employees made up 34.3 per cent of the workforce, a record high, with the number increasing by 340,000 to 17.55 million on average in 2010, the first rise in two years, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said. The number of regular employees decreased 250,000 to 33.55 million.
Non-regular employment has become more common in recent decades, marking a departure from the nation's once proud corporate tradition of lifetime employment.
A 1986 law allowed companies to hire non-regular workers for the first time, and in 1999 further deregulation added to their number.
After a 2004 amendment expanded the types of businesses that could use non-regular employees, including manufacturing, the ranks were boosted to 17.19 million in 2008, about one-third of the entire workforce. In 1990, by comparison, non-regular employees made up 20 per cent of the workforce, at 8.7 million.