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Vol. 67, No. 4, pp. 307-325 (2016)

“Trends in Long-Term Employment since the 1980s in Japan”
Takao Kato (Department of Economics, Colgate University), Ryo Kambayashi (Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University)

In this article, we examine recent long-term employment in the Japanese labor markets, by using microdata from several governmental statistics since the 1980s. The main findings are as follows: (i) the decline in average tenure is found only in short-tenured workers, and the average tenure for long-tenured workers, e.g. over 5 years, did not decline. (ii) Ten-year-retention rates also stay almost constant for long-tenured university graduates. (iii) Neither one-year-separation rates nor dismissal-rates have changed for long-tenured university graduates. (iv) A decline in the share of long-tenured university graduates within age cohort is not found. Therefore, long-term employment is still respected for employees who have continued working for a long term, e.g. over 5 years. One characteristic of recent Japanese labor markets, the increase in short-tenured workers, is explained by the expansion of the labor market itself. The magnitude of long-term employment has not declined.