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    • Data & Research

    Recruit Works Institute Publishes the Third Edition of Works Index, a Fixed-Point Observation of the Working Styles of Approximately 50,000 Japanese People

    Jun 6, 2018 | Recruit

    In 2017, as flexible work styles became more widespread, and women and seniors increased their labor participation, and overall employee learning activities declined.

    The Recruit Works Institute, Recruit's research institute for people and organizations, has conducted the third National Employment Status Panel Survey. This annual survey studies the employment status of approximately 50,000 people aged 15 and older throughout Japan. Based on the results, we have released the 2017 edition of the Works Index, a unique guide of work styles.

    For details of the survey results (report), please refer to the URL (In Japanese only). download

    About the Japanese Panel Study of Employment Dynamics (JPSED) and Works Index

    The Japanese Panel Study of Employment Dynamics (JPSED) surveys the employment status of people aged 15 and older nationwide. The JPSED examines approximately 50,000 people and follows up with the same individuals every year. The survey comprehensively measures the actual status of working conditions, observing both quality and quantity.

    The Works Index is based on the results of the National Employment Status Panel Survey. The results are visualized and verified using a unique reference tool developed by Recruit Works Institute, and the results are announced every year. By presenting yearly detailed analyses based on individual themes, we aim to promote a society where everyone can thrive in their work environment.

    The Five Major Components in the Works Index 2017

    I. Job Security (Stability)
    II. Living Independently (Economic well-being)
    III. Work-life Balance (Continuity)
    IV. Study and Training (Development)
    V. Decent Work (Health)

    What we learned from the results:

    (1) Work-life balance has improved, and work-style reforms have made the most progress in work freedom. On the other hand, learning, mainly in the workplace, has decreased.

    • The score for the index III, Work-life Balance score rose by 0.6 points from the previous year, reaching 64.6. The score rose in all segments, regardless of gender, age, or employment status.

    • Of the four indicators that compose the index III, Work-life Balance, "freedom to choose working hours and location" rose by 1.9 points, the largest increase among all indicators. It can be assumed that companies are responding to the rise of teleworking and catering to the need for flexible working hours and locations.

    • In addition, the number of hours worked per week by employees decreased by 0.2 hours compared to the previous year. Looking at the content of work time, the time spent on primary tasks increased by 4.7 points, time spent on peripheral tasks decreased by 3.2 points, and time spent waiting for work fell by 1.5 points. It can be determined that employees reduce their working hours per week by decreasing time spent on peripheral tasks and waiting time, and by focusing on primary responsibilities.

    • On the other hand, the score for the index IV, Study and Training score decreased by 0.5 points from the previous year to 31.3. On-the-job training (OJT) decreased noticeably among younger workers and those who work for companies with more than 1,000 employees. It can be surmised that companies are reducing working hours as well as the amount of time spent on OJT. “Off-the-job training opportunities" and "Self-study (personal development)" also declined across the board, resulting in a decrease in learning behaviors overall.

    • Despite reduced working hours and increased free time, there is no widespread movement to that time for learning. While OJT in the workplace is decreasing, it is necessary to create an environment where workers can independently learn.

    (2) Women and seniors have made significant progress in labor participation.

    • The score for the index I, Job Security (Stability) score increased by 0.6 points from the previous year to 63.6. The score increased for women and men in all age groups, especially those aged 55-64 and seniors 65 and over, indicating that employment stability is rising.

    • In the background, there is a rise in female and senior employment rates. People who did not previously wish to work, such as women raising children or caring for family members, are currently participating in the labor market.

    About Works Index

    Works Index visualizes the work style in Japan. It was developed independently by Recruit Works Institute at the start of the Japanese Panel Study of Employment Dynamics (JPSED). It consists of five components we believe are necessary for individuals to continue working vibrantly. Each index is calculated based on the survey results related to an indicator and receives a score between 0 and 100. In the Japanese Panel Study of Employment Dynamics, we use the Works Index as the primary indicator to measure the actual status of employment over time and use it to examine the issues of work styles.

    Indexes and indicators that compose Works Index

    20180606 01

    Note: Each index is calculated from the results of surveys related to each indicator.

    Survey Summary

    About Japanese Panel Study of Employment Dynamics (JPSED)

    • Purpose: The annual survey tracks individuals to study their employment status, income, working conditions, and other circumstances over the previous year. The JPSED provides an understanding of employment changes in Japan and serves as the data behind the production and publication of the Works Index.

    • Target: Persons aged 15 and above across Japan

    • Timing: Conducted every January

    • Method: Online monitor survey. Research firm-retained monitors are asked to participate in the survey. Every January, a survey will be requested for the sample that responded to the first survey conducted in 2016. A sample close to the attributes for which responses were unavailable was requested to be surveyed simultaneously to ensure a valid number of responses.

    • Sampling design: Data from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications' Labour Force Survey forms the basis for the attributes: gender, age group, employment status, geographical block, and academic background. The aim is to get a representative sample of the population. However, the allocation of non-working teenagers and adults aged 65 and older is less than that in the general population.

    • Aggregation method: Since the allocation of non-working teenagers and adults aged 65 and older is less than that in the actual population, and fewer responses are received from these groups, the aggregated results are weighted to accurately reflect the general population. After weighting, the results were limited to a sample of respondents aged 15 to 74 which were counted in the final survey results, excluding students who have not yet participated in the workforce.

    About Japanese Panel Study of Employment Dynamics (3rd survey)

    • Survey Period: January 12, 2018 - January 31, 2018

    • Number of valid responses: 50,677 respondents

    From the third survey, there are three types of respondents:

    1. A continuing sample (37,503 respondents who have continued to respond since last year).

    2. An additional sample (10,369 new respondents this year).

    3. A resurrected sample (2,805 respondents from the 2016 survey who did not respond to the 2017 survey). 

    *Of the above, 21 samples were excluded from this year's survey because they had moved overseas.

    Click hereTo an external site to read the original press release.