Tokyo, April 18 (Jiji Press)–The spread of the new coronavirus has reduced the incomes of a wide range of nonregular workers in Japan, a think tank survey shows.
Wages of nonregular workers are in the first place lower than those of regular employees, and many of them work on hourly wages. Therefore, they are facing hardship as many companies temporarily halted operations or shortened business hours following a request from the Japanese government, the survey revealed.
Fully 56.8 pct temporary workers, mostly students, and 52.7 pct of dispatched workers said their incomes have dropped, according to the survey by the Research Institute for Advancement of Living Standards.
Of part-timers, including many housewives, 49.8 pct have suffered income drops.
The share of regular workers with income drops stood at 34.6 pct.
According to the survey, some 60-70 pct of nonregular workers said the number of working days or hours has declined.
By industry, working days or hours have dropped sharply in the restaurant and hotel sector, the services industry and the manufacturing industry.
Many working in the transportation, finance and insurance, and medical and welfare sectors said their working days and hours have increased.
Businesses can cut wages for nonregular workers if their working days are reduced, Toyoji Sugiyama, deputy director-general of the institute, said. “They are the best target of labor cost cuts,” he said.
With the Japanese government’s declaration of a state of emergency now covering all 47 prefectures, wages of nonregular workers may deteriorate further, he said.
As for measures taken at workplaces to prevent coronavirus infections, the largest proportion, at 55 pct, cited the use of face masks and alcohol disinfectants.
Only some 18 pct of respondents said they are utilizing telework or staggered commuting, key measures called for by the government.
The online survey was conducted on April 1-3. It received answers from 4,307 private-sector workers in their 20s to early 60s.