In Japan, an influx of people moving from one region of the country to another is causing changes to the country’s economy. In fact, according to a recent Bloomberg article, the rural population is suffering. “Japan’s rural population is expected to plunge another 17% in just 12 years, from 2018 through 2030, according to United Nations data. Further out, the decline will steepen, with the population falling by 2% per year in the 2030s,” according to the publication.
But that’s not all. The country’s urban depopulation is actually one of a kind globally. “Some predict hundreds of small cities and towns will be completely deserted over time. Many more will become unlivable by today’s standards,” according to the news service. That is, if things remain the same.
However, Japan’s government is offering compelling incentives to help the country’s youth to move to other areas besides cities, which is a strong recruiting tactic. For example: “It’s offering one-off cash payments of up to 3 million yen to anyone willing to move out of greater Tokyo to work for a small or medium-sized company or to start a business, as well as a range of subsidies for local universities and businesses,” according to Bloomberg. This is a strong incentive because it means that Japan could actually see a boom in entrepreneurship in the coming years. Not only that, it’s a form of job creation. These younger workers can successfully move out of urban areas to jobs open due to the depopulation in some regions, which could help reduce unemployment. “Its efforts have claimed some success, such as creating more jobs for young people,” as Bloomberg notes.
For employers, the government’s efforts are an especially powerful way to hire in a region that’s seeing depopulation and can be helpful. How? By simply boosting the incentives that are offered to attract employees. Just like the Japanese government is offering cash rewards for young workers to move to other areas of the country, businesses can consider offering relocation or hiring bonuses to top job candidates. By doing this, it’s possible to attract high performers to a company no matter where they’re located physically.
Japan’s population changes are coming as the country’s economy is seeing mixed growth, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. In fact, it appears that the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China is having a strong impact on the country’s financial state. “Four out of 10 Japanese corporate chiefs believe the global economy is on the decline, a Nikkei poll released Friday shows, the worst outlook in seven years indicating a sense of fatigue from the U.S.-China trade war,” according to the news service.
In other signs of the region’s shifting economic activity, exports fell in August for the 9th straight months, according to a recent article, citing Finance Ministry data. “Exports dropped for a ninth straight month in August as trade conflicts compound a global economic slowdown,” according to the article. “The value of shipments abroad fell 8.2 percent in August from a year earlier, according to the Finance Ministry.”
But the nation’s economy did see growth earlier in the year. According to the Wall Street Journal, for example, “Japanese economy unexpectedly grew in the first quarter of 2019 supported by government spending.”