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More than half in Japan happy with job switch: gov't survey

People wearing face masks walk in Tokyo's Marunouchi business district on Feb. 2, 2021. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Slightly more than half of the people in Japan who have changed jobs are happy to have done so, a recent government survey showed, underscoring how workers sought more rewarding employment conditions elsewhere.

    Among respondents who made a switch between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020, 53.4 percent said they are satisfied with their new jobs, while 11.4 percent said they are not, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's survey released earlier this month.

    The survey polled some 10,000 people who had changed their jobs from some 17,000 offices with five or more employees.

    The gap between the satisfied and dissatisfied stood at 42.0 percentage points, close to the 43.0 percentage point difference in the previous survey in 2015.

    "Labor conditions have improved under working practice reforms, and it appears that people are finding their new jobs rewarding," said a ministry official in charge of the survey.

    Japan's conventional work practices of lifetime employment, promotion by seniority and hiring of fresh graduates are gradually loosening, while the country has been carrying out reforms to cut its notoriously long working hours that have been blamed for causing deaths.

    The latest survey also showed men tend to be happier after changing jobs than women.

    A total of 56.4 percent of male respondents were satisfied, and 9.9 percent were discontent, compared with 49.3 percent and 13.4 percent, respectively, for female respondents.

    Women's dissatisfaction was more than 10 percentage points higher than men in terms of tasks, working hours and relations with coworkers.

    A report by the World Economic Forum, a Swiss-based think tank, showed the share of women working part-time was almost twice that of men and the average Japanese woman's income was 43.7 percent lower than that of Japanese men.

    Among the 76.6 percent of the survey respondents who switched jobs for personal reasons, 28.2 percent cited working conditions, excluding wages, as their reason for the switch.

    It was followed by 26 percent who were dissatisfied with their tasks and 23.8 percent who thought they were underpaid.

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