5,000 nonregular workers in Japan laid off due to coronavirus fallout

10, Jun. 2020

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TOKYO, Kyodo - An estimated 4,943 nonregular workers had been laid off or were expected to be laid off in Japan due to the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic as of last Friday, more than double the figure from a week earlier, data released by the labor ministry showed Tuesday.

The figure, which stood at 2,366 as of May 29, is tallied from businesses consulted by prefectural labor bureaus or public job placement offices.

A total of 20,933 people in the workforce are expected to have their contracts terminated or have already been dismissed due to the virus outbreak since February, when the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare began collecting data on the matter.

But as the tally from February through May 24 does not include a breakdown by employment status, nonregular employees are likely to account for even more than the published figure of 4,943.

Of the 20,933, those working in the accommodation sector, such as hotels and traditional "ryokan" inns, accounted for the most at 4,348, followed by the food and beverage sector at 3,484, manufacturing at 2,813 and road transportation at 2,377.

The tourism sector has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic amid entry bans and calls for residents to stay at home.

Sales at department stores and restaurants have also declined significantly since a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo and other urban areas on April 7 and later expanded nationwide. Many businesses are still operating on shortened hours even after the complete lifting of the state of emergency on May 25.

By prefecture, workers in Tokyo were the hardest hit with 3,164 laid off, followed by Osaka at 2,998 and Hokkaido at 1,149. (Kyodo)