Japan labour data 'incorrectly collected since 2004'

January 10, 2019
A probe has been launched after it emerged only a third of the relevant 1,400 firms in Tokyo were surveyed as part of the necessary data collection

Japan may have underpaid billions of yen in unemployment benefits after it emerged that the government has been incorrectly collecting labour market data for as long as 15 years.

Officials are supposed to gather data from all with 500 or more employees but in Tokyo, only about one third of 1,400 such firms were surveyed, according to a at the labour ministry.

Labour minister Takumi Nemoto has ordered a thorough investigation but admitted he received a report about the problem as early as December 20.

This means the ministry published data they knew had sampling problems, undermining confidence in data from the world's third-biggest economy.

According to public broadcaster NHK, the problems could date back as far as 2004.

A ministry official speaking on condition of anonymity told AFP that the problem could have resulted in underpayment of and industrial injury insurance benefits.

And citing government sources, local agency Kyodo News said the budget may have to be reworked if benefits are paid back retroactively.

The monthly labour survey serves as a key indicator of the country's employment conditions, and closely watched by the government and the Bank of Japan as a clue for their economic policy decisions.

Explore further: Survey finds Japan med schools admitting men at higher rates

Related Stories

Spain says Ryanair violated right to strike: unions

November 26, 2018

Spain has found Ryanair guilty of violating cabin crews' right to strike and work safety regulations as well as obstructing labour inspections, threatening to fine the low-frills airline for 16 infractions, unions said Monday.

Japan plans tighter regulation of tech giants

December 13, 2018

Japan is planning to tighten regulation of tech giants like Google and Facebook after an expert panel called for better oversight on competition and privacy, an official said Thursday.

How will addressing climate change affect the job market?

December 5, 2018

The Paris Agreement's goal to keep global warming below 2°C can be achieved by increasing the use of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. A new International Labour Review study explores the impact of such transitions ...

Recommended for you

Privacy becomes a selling point at tech show

January 7, 2019

Apple is not among the exhibitors at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, but that didn't prevent the iPhone maker from sending a message to attendees on a large billboard.

China's Huawei unveils chip for global big data market

January 7, 2019

Huawei Technologies Ltd. showed off a new processor chip for data centers and cloud computing Monday, expanding into new and growing markets despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.