Japan to face 11 million worker shortfall by 2040, reveals study
Japan appears to be waging a grim war against an acute shortfall of the workforce due to the ageing population, which is playing a spanner in its quest for young talent acquisition.
The island nation is staring at a shortfall of more than 11 million workers by 2040, a study, which serves as a stark warning of the economic challenges the nation faces due to a shortage of workforce as its population ages rapidly.
A report published by the independent think tank Recruit Works Institute indicates that the working-age population is expected to rapidly decline starting in 2027. According to findings, the worker supply is expected to decline by about 12 per cent in 2040 from 2022 though labour demand remains steady.
The island nation is battling with a declining birth rate, and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has taken urgent measures to reverse the trend.
He has also warned of societal collapse amid an abysmally low birth rate which is causing a population imbalance in the country. The phenomenon has fuelled fears of a workforce shortage. An alarmed Kishida has rushed to pledge about 1 trillion yen (S$10.1 billion) to train workers for more high-skilled jobs in the next five years.
At present, Japan, with a population of 126 million is feeling the heat, with the working-age population expected to shrink by 20 per cent from 2020 to 59.8 million by 2040, the report said.
Faced with the predicament, Kishida is trying to find a means to find a solution to the problem. The study indicates that there will be a serious shortage of truck drivers by next year.
The shortfalls are expected to become acute in labour-intensive sectors like transportation and construction, as well as health care, due to growing demands from an ageing population.
According to the Chief Researcher of the study Shoto Furuya, Japan’s economic slump and a similar ageing crisis around the world stress the fact that boosting immigration can not be the most viable solution over the long term.