Re: A news item and subject which I just want to check out (94) June 9, 2023

The Meteorological Agency announced on May 29 that Northern Kyushu, Chugoku region, Shikoku region, Kinki region and Tokai region have entered the rainy season. It is said that the Kinki region entered the rainy season 8 days earlier than usual and 16 days earlier than last year, and the rainy season in May is first in 10 years. Record-breaking downpours have already caused damage at the end of last week.
The annoying rainy season sky will continue from now to July.
By the way, coronavirus moved to class 5 in the classification of infection laws and infection control measures relaxed on May 8, but on the other hand, it seems that school closures and class closures are occurring one after another due to mass infection of seasonal influenza in schools across the country, in spite that it is already early summer. Experts seem to think that “the number of influenza vaccinations decreased under corona and people’s immunity is weakened”. The coronavirus pandemic over three years almost comes to an end, but monkeypox ox mpox epidemic reported in the world and measles epidemic reported in Japan. It seems that the risk of a pandemic is always around us.

■■There was a lot going on this week.
■My thoughts on the employment situation and job hunting:
The ban on recruitment selection of college students and graduate students expected to graduate in spring 2024 has been lifted on June 1, and full-scale hiring interviews at major companies have begun. However, this rule seems to be dead word and hiring interviews have already begun. According to DISCO, employment information company, the ratio of students who have received unofficial job offers as of May 1 is 70.2 % increased by 5.2 % compared with the same month of the last year.
Due to economic recovery from the new coronavirus, companies are increasingly eager to hire, and labor shortages are serious. According to Recruit, the number of companies that students who have received unofficial job offers as of May 15 is 2.22 increased by 0.04 compared to the previous year. It is said that the situation of the seller’s market is intensifying and 55 % of listed companies are facing labor shortages.

In the United States, the unemployment rate in May was 3.7 % increased by 0.3 % compared to the previous month when the unemployment rate was at a half-century low and also exceeded the market forecast 3.5 %, but is still at the lowest level since last year. Companies’ willingness to recruit is not getting weak amid recession fears because of interest rate hike. As I described in the previous issue, when I went to a hamburger shop in Los Angeles at the end of May, there was 19 dollars, if you convert one dollar into 140 yen, it is 2,660 yen, per hour sticker that says recruiting employees on the door. This is about 2.6 times of the hourly wage of similar type of industries in Japan. It seems that the decline of the yen is widening the price difference between Japan and the United States, in addition to the rising labor cost due to inflation.

On the other hand, the current situation in neighboring China is very different from that of Japan and the United States, and it seems that employment difficulties for young people are growing serious. According to the Nikkei article on May 31, National Bureau of Statistics of China announced that the unemployment rate of 16-21 years old in April was 20.4 %, the highest since 2018 when comparisons can be made, and the gap with 5.2 %, the overall unemployment rate, is large. Particularly serious seems to be the difficulty of finding jobs for highly educated people like college graduates. Nearly 30 % of college graduates are looking for jobs. Current students are also struggling with a tough job search front and unofficial job offer rate for students graduating this summer as of mid-April is stuck at 50.4 %, and significantly below about 75 % of pre-corona level. Incidentally, students graduate from June to July in China. There is a structural factor of rapid increase in higher education behind this background. College students and graduate students expected to graduate in summer 2023 are 11.58 million, 40 % more than 5 years ago. It looks like a highly competitive society.

On the other hand, Japan is about to enter the era of declining enrollment, and it is a seller’s market with a job rate of 95 %. And according to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, the turnover rate of college students graduated in March 2019 within three years of employment reaches 31.5 %. What I feel through these situations is the temperature difference with neighboring countries. What Japan needs now is how to create opportunities for young people to work hard and challenge. As it is, there is a concern that this will foster human resources that are easily beaten and have never experienced adversity or setbacks. Egalitarianism that excludes competition is spreading in Japan now. Seeking “equality of outcomes” is incompatible with the harsh reality of the world.

What I think about finding a job looking back on myself is that no one knows what industries and companies that are popular as job choices and flooded with job seekers now will be like in 30~40 years. It may be the peak now. When I thought about my career choices about 60 years ago and compare it to now, the industrial map and structure are changing dramatically due to globalization, innovation, and the rise of emerging countries. At the same time, the conditions for needed human resources are also changing.

When the “100-year life era” becomes a reality, what I want to say to young people is that life is often guided by invisible threads such as “life is about encounters and relationships with people”. Therefore, you need to always “strive to improve yourself”, and then to reopen your mind like “do your best, and let God do the rest” or “leave it to fate”. “When patience is necessary, be patient” and endure. Opportunities come to everyone, so don’t let them down slip away.

■The Cabinet Office announced the revised GDP for January-March quarter this year:
The revised GDP for January-March quarter this year was 2.3 % in annualized terms increased by 0.7 % compared with the previous quarter, and revised upward from the preliminary figure in annualized terms of 1.6 % increase. The main factor is the increase in capital expenditure and corporate inventory. On the other hand, personal consumption that accounts for about 60 % of GDP was revised downward from a preliminary figure of 0.6 % increase to 0.5 % increase, and it seems that people’s awareness of defending their livelihoods against inflation is showing up. The real GDP of the 2022 fiscal year announced at the same time increased by 1.4 % from the previous fiscal year and exceeded the preliminary figure of 1.2 % increase.

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