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Recruit Works Institute publishes fourth edition of Works Index, a leading indicator of how people work in Japan There has been significant progress in work-life balance and employee benefits in 2018 with decreased working hours, increased paid vacation, and positive progress in labor participation.

Jun 5, 2019 | Recruit

The Recruit Works Institute, Recruit's research institute for people and organizations, has conducted the 4th National Employment Status Panel Survey, an annual follow-up survey of the employment status of approximately 40,000 individuals nationwide. Based on the results of this survey, we have released the Works Index 2018 (4th Survey), which visualizes and indexes the work styles based on five parameters.

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

Summary of Works Index 2018 Results

What is the Works Index?

The Works Index is designed to visualize and evaluate individuals’ work styles in Japan, to create an environment where individuals can work dynamically. The index consists of five major components: 

I. Job Security (Stability)

II. Living Independently (Economic well-being)

III. Work-life Balance (Continuity)

IV. Study and Training (Development)

V. Decent Work (Health).



The structural labor shortage and changes in work styles improved each index. Many companies are promoting the use of paid vacations and reducing working hours in preparation for enacting the Workplace Reform Law and the five-year rule for indefinite term conversions. The revised Labor Contract Law is making progress in converting fixed-term employees to indefinite terms.


Survey Summary

About the 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 how employment in Japan is changing, while serving as the data behind the production and publication of the Works Index

  • Target and timing: Conducted every January among those aged 15 and above across Japan.

  • Method: Online monitor survey. Research firm-retained monitors are asked to participate in the survey.

  • 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.

  • Valid responses: A sample of approximately 50,000 responses every year.

  • 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, excluding students who have not yet participated in the workforce.

[About the National Employment Status Panel Survey (4th Survey)]

  • Survey Period: January 11, 2019 - January 31, 2019

  • Number of valid responses: 62,415 respondents

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

  1. A continuing sample (38,451 respondents who have continued to respond since last year).

  2. An additional sample (20,315 new respondents this year).

  3. A  resurrected sample (3,649 respondents from the 2017 survey who did not respond to the 2018 survey). 

*Of the above, 20 samples were excluded from this year's survey because they had moved overseas.

About "Works Index," an index of work styles in Japan

The "Works Index" is a unique index of work styles based on the results of the National Employment Status Panel Survey, which consists of five indexes.

An Index contains a component called an indicator. Each index is calculated annually based on  the survey results related to the indicator, and receives a score between 0 and 100.

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


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