Information Releases

Survey of Corporate Attitudes toward eliminating the labor shortage

Raising the wage level comes out on top as a way to resolve the labor shortage
— Positive use of human resources is highest in women and seniors, and at 13.7% for foreigners —


While the employed workforce continues to grow for now, the labor crunch is worsening, such as the jobs-to-applicants ratio in FY2018 being at its highest level in 45 years. Competition among companies to acquire limited human resources is intensifying, while job seekers think of this situation as positive factors such as growth of employment opportunities and wage increases. Under these circumstances, increasing personnel costs due to the labor shortage have a significant impact on the corporate earnings environment, and efforts to eliminate the labor shortage, such as by securing human resources and productivity enhancements, are pressing issues for companies.

Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey on corporate attitudes toward eliminating the labor shortage. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the August 2019 TDB Trends Research.

*Survey period: August 19 – August 31, 2019. Companies Surveyed: 23,638. Valid Responses: 10,007 (Response Rate: 42.3%).

*Details of this survey can be found on the dedicated Economic Trend Survey HP (

Primary points of survey results(summary)

  1. 1 While more than half of companies suffer from a shortage, the highest percentage of departments/roles showing shortages is “employees engaging in production sites” (57.2%). High percentages were also reported for “employees for sales departments” (47.7%) and “highly skilled employees” (37.0%).
  2. 2 With respect to the impacts caused by a labor shortage, “difficulty in responding to increased demand” constituted more than 50%, ranking top at 50.5%, followed by “increase in overtime work” (36.6%), and “difficulty in expanding into new businesses and fields” (31.7%). The construction industry, in which a strong Olympics-related demand continues, and the transportation and warehousing industry with active cargo movement showed high percentages.
  3. 3 While companies focus on using diverse human resources, those that companies want to make positive use of the most were “seniors” at 29.2%, closely followed by “women” at 27.9%, “foreigners” at 13.7%, and “people with a disability” at 1.1%.
  4. 4 In terms of efforts to eliminate the labor shortage, raising the wage level ranked top at 38.1%. The number was particularly high in small and medium-sized companies, and it is thus apparent that companies place importance on wage increases as a way to secure and retain human resources. This was followed by “activating workplace communication” (36.7%) and “reduction in overtime work, such as after-hours work” (35.0%).
  5. 5 With respect to efforts companies want all of society to undertake to eliminate the labor shortage, “enhanced and strengthened job placement function” by the Public Employment Security Office ranked top at 32.6%. On the other hand, “expanding recruitment by occupation” and “expanding offer-type recruitment” stood at 9.9% and 4.8%, respectively. The diversified recruitment method remained at a single-digit percentage.
Economic and Industry Trends TOP