Foreign Workers at Hotels, Eateries in Japan Fall amid Epidemic

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 29 (Jiji Press)--The number of foreign workers at hotels and restaurants in Japan as of the end of October 2020 was down 1.8 pct from a year before, logging the first drop on record due to the fallout from the new coronavirus epidemic, the labor ministry said Friday.

The sectors are facing hardships, such as authorities' requests for shortened business hours or temporary closures amid the virus crisis. Employment of foreigners at hotels and restaurants was also affected by a plunge in the number of travelers from abroad blamed on pandemic-related entry restrictions, a ministry official said.

The total number of foreign workers rose 4.0 pct to 1,724,328, hitting a record high for the eighth straight year. But the pace of increase was the lowest in the past eight years. In 2019, foreign workforce surged 13.6 pct, reflecting severe labor shortages in the country.

The medical and welfare, and construction sectors posted double-digit increases in foreign workers in 2020.

But the number of foreign workers in the manufacturing industry, making up about 30 pct of all such workers in Japan, fell 0.3 pct, down for the first time in eight years.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press