Record 1.8 Million Foreign Workers in Japan as of 2022Society Economy
A report published by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare shows that the number of foreign workers in Japan in 2022 reached a record high of 1,822,725 as of October 31. This is 95,000 more than the previous year, for a 5.5% year-on-year increase. By nationality, workers from Vietnam, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), and the Philippines totaled over 1 million, accounting for nearly 60% of all foreign workers.
Workers from Vietnam numbered 462,384 (25.4% of the total), China 385,848 (21.2%), and the Philippines 206,050 (11.3%). Brazil, which has many citizens of Japanese ancestry, accounted for 135,167 workers (7.4%). The top three countries by year-on-year increase were Indonesia (77,889, up 47.5%), Myanmar (47,498, up 37.7%), and Nepal (118,196, up 20.3%).
A decade ago, in 2012, foreign workers numbered 680,000, of whom 40% were Chinese. Since that time, the number of workers from Vietnam has increased 17-fold.
By residence status, those with visas based on their status or position, such as permanent residents or spouses of Japanese nationals, accounted for 32.7% of all foreign workers; those with visas based on their profession or technical field—including jobs related to the arts, religion, media, research, or highly specialized professions—made up 26.3% of the total; technical internship trainees accounted for 18.8%; working exchange students and others employed under permitted exceptions to their residence status, were 18.2%; and those engaged in “designated activities” such as people on working holidays or candidates to be nurses or care workers based on economic partnership agreements accounted for 4.0%. The number of technical internship trainees decreased for two consecutive years in 2021 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
By industry, the manufacturing industry accounted for the largest number of foreign workers, at 485,128, or 26.6% of the total, followed by wholesale and retail jobs at 13.1% and accommodation and food services at 11.5%.
Foreign Workers by Industry
|Accommodation/Food & Drink||208,981||11.5%|
|Information & Communications||75,954||4.2%|
|Academic Research, Specialized/Technical Services||64,261||3.5%|
Compiled by Nippon.com based on data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare. All figures as of October 31, 2022.
Compared to 2012, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of foreign workers in both the construction and medical/welfare sectors, with rises of over 100,000 and over 60,000, respectively.
The number of businesses employing foreign nationals reached a record high in 2022 of 298,790, up 4.8% year on year.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)