Japan's one of the best places in the world to be right now if you're looking for a job

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While it comes with the caveat that you may have to converse in Japanese, times are more than good for anyone looking for job in Japan right now.

It’s actually the easiest time to find a job in more than 40 years.

Here’s why.

It’s Japan’s jobs-to-applicants ratio, simply measuring the number of job openings to applicants.

Last month, the ratio hit 1.59, the highest level since January 1974. Put another way, for every 100 job seekers, there were 159 job openings.

Good odds no matter what language you speak.

If that wasn’t enough to convince you just how strong Japanese labour market conditions are right now, the national unemployment rate stood at 2.8% in December, just above the 24-year low of 2.7% recorded a month earlier.

With an abundance of jobs and few people available to fill them, what usually follows next is an increase in wage pressures.

However, there’s been no meaningful lift as yet, contributing to ongoing weakness in Japanese inflationary pressures.

But that could be about to change.

According to Reuters, the Keidanren business lobby which represents Japan’s largest firms has called on companies to raise wages by 3% during annual salary negotiations with unions this spring, mirroring calls from government to deliver meaningful wage increases to workers.

“It is becoming more important to not only raise wages but also improve total compensation,” Yasumi Kudo, a vice chairman at Keidanren, told Reuters earlier this month.

“Earnings are better than last fiscal year, and is part of a social mandate, meaning we should actively consider this.”

Reuters says Keidanren’s vocal endorsement of wage hikes could encourage more mid-sized firms to follow suit.

Time will tell, but with an ageing population something’s got to give in order to help boost household consumption, the largest and most important part of the Japanese economy.

You can read more here.

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