NIRA

JPN

OPINION PAPER

Diversification of Modes of Work will
Create a New Safety Net

Does Full-time Employment offer Security?

What modes of work should we look to , in order to ensure security and
peace of mind? Consider this model: A person graduates from school and joins a
company for which he or she works continuously as a full-time employee, salary
increasing with years of service. If by some chance that company becomes bankrupt
and this person loses their job, they will be protected by generous social security
benefits. The ideal that Japan has sought up to the present is a society in which each
individual is secure in their work, centering on this image of the “full-time employee.”

However, is this realistic? Will continuing to work for one company really guarantee one’s security into the future? How secure does being a full-time employee make
one?



Today, the environment in which Japanese companies operate is undergoing
significant changes, and large corporations are not exempt from these changes. Not
long ago, few people could have predicted the extent of the sales slump that would
occur in the television manufacturing industry, and the difficulties that Japanese
electronics makers would face as a result. The main factors in the present changes in the business environment are structural changes in the global economy and changes in the speed of business due to the advancement of IT. The rapid economic
development of emerging nations is serving as the central driving force in a massive
reorganization of the entire global economic structure. No matter how outstanding
the record of a Japanese company, we should not be surprised if it faces a business
crisis if unable to respond to these changes. In addition, the development of the IT
industry is also accelerating the speed of change in industries other than the IT industry itself. Given this, it is likely that no matter which industry one works in, in future the knowledge and abilities required will change at a fairly rapid pace.……

Executive Vice President, NIRA Professor, Graduate School of Economics,The University of Tokyo