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23% of nonpermanent female workers saw income fall amid COVID pandemic: Japan poll

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation building is seen in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Feb. 23, 2022. (Mainichi/Kazuhisa Soneda)

TOKYO -- About a quarter of women working in nonpermanent employment who responded to a recent poll by Japan's largest labor union federation said their income fell amid the spread of the coronavirus.

    The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, known commonly as Rengo, conducted the questionnaire online between Feb. 8 and 10. Responses were gathered from 1,000 nonregular female employees, including part-time workers and nonpermanent contract employees. According to findings announced on March 31, 23% of respondents answered that they saw a decline in income.

    The most common income bracket among the respondents was between 1 million and 1.99 million yen (between around $8,000 and $16,000) per year, claimed by 35% of the pollees, while only 8% answered that they earned 3 million yen (about $24,000) or more. Those who said their main source of household income was their own pay from their employment earned an average of 2.14 million yen (about $17,000) per year.

    When the results were broken down by employment type, people who reported reduced income amid the COVID-19 pandemic were seen in relatively high proportions among part-time workers (35%) and dispatch workers (27%). By age group, younger generations saw more reductions in income, with 28% of respondents in their 20s reporting such declines, while 23% of those in their 30s, 20% of those in their 40s, and 18% of those in their 50s reported that their incomes fell.

    Furthermore, 21% of respondents said their working days and hours decreased. Thirty-five percent of those employed part-time reported that they worked less amid the pandemic, and younger people tended to be more seriously affected, as was the case with income declines.

    Seven percent of respondents also said they experienced a change in work tasks, while 4% faced employment type or work style changes.

    (Japanese original by Natsuko Ishida, Lifestyle and Medical News Department)

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