Population, Labor Market and Educational Background:

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Other Title
  • 人口・労働・学歴
  • ジンコウ ロウドウ ガクレキ
  • ――大学は,決して過剰ではない――
  • University Is Never an Over-investment in Education

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<p>In 1985, an interesting report that helps understand the relation between the population and the labor market was published. This report, 21 Seiki no Sarari-man Shakai, made forecasts on changes in the Japanese employment system toward the year 2000 by forecasting the manpower requirements in various occupations and analyzing the impact of the baby boomers on the labor market.<BR><BR>Looking back over this past forecast and learning from its experience, this paper makes projections in the following two areas.<BR><BR>The first is a forecast of the manpower requirements by industry and occupation in 2015. The report, based on a consideration of both the change of population by age and structural changes in industry, makes clear that there will be a large mismatch of supply and demand in the labor force. In particular, the service industry sector will experience a shortage of 2.34 million workers and the there will be a shortage of 1.67 million professionals. Conversely there will be too many manufacturing and technical workers. These dramatic changes will accelerate mobility in employment, it projects, to a level above the figure projected in the report in 1985.<BR><BR>The second is an analysis of the relation between the number of workers and wages, an indicator of the quality of labor, during three decades of 1976-2006. The main results are as follows.<BR><BR>1) Based on an analysis of relative wages by age group, the ratio of wages of the group in their fifties divided by that of those in their twenties, and of the number of workers in same age groups, it is possible to conclude that the shock of increasing numbers of seniors has been absorbed and that the seniority management system has been maintained through a decline in the wages of seniors relative to the young.<BR><BR>2) Based on the same approach, looking at the relative wages and number of workers by educational background, the relative wage of university graduates to high school graduates has been rising among workers in their thirties and forties even as the number of university educated graduates has increased. This suggests the important policy implication that university is never an over-investment in education because the labor demand for university graduates is rising compared to that for high school graduates within the changing labor market.</p>



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