Information Releases

Survey of Corporate Attitudes Towards Wage Trends for 2021

Companies planning to hire full-time employees hit a nine-year low
— “Employment of senior citizens up to 70 years old, and introduction of continued employment system ranked top —


Trends in 2020 have changed dramatically from the previous employment environment with its labor shortages, such as a substantial decrease in the effective ratio of job openings to applicants, and a significant decline in the percentage of new graduates who found work. Meanwhile, the government is actively underpinning employment, such as taking various measures including employment adjustment subsidy for companies impacted by COVID-19, and strengthening the legal system to expand employment opportunities for senior citizens.

Therefore, Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey of corporate attitudes towards hiring trends for 2021. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the February 2021 TDB Economic Trends Research.

*Survey period: February 12 – 28, 2021; Companies Surveyed: 23,702; Valid Responses: 11,073 (Response Rate: 46.7%).

*The survey of hiring trends has been conducted every year since February 2005, and this is the 17th survey

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

Primary points of survey results(summary)

  1. 1 Companies responding that they are planning to hire full-time employees in 2021 decreased by 3.9 points from that in the previous survey (implemented in February 2020), to 55.3%, a decline for the third consecutive year, and a fall to a level unseen since 2012 (54.5%). By size, the percentage of “large companies” responding this way fell below 80% for the first time in eight years, to 79.5% (a decrease of 3.4 points from that in the previous survey), and “SMEs” were at 50.2% (a decrease of 3.4 points from that in the previous survey). The results showed a cautious stance regardless of company size.
  2. 2 When asked about the expected hiring percentages of “new graduates” and “mid-career workers” among full-time employees in 2021, the percentages for new graduates and mid-career workers were 39.1% and 45.0%, respectively. Large companies showed a higher percentage for new graduates, while SMEs showed a higher percentage for mid-career hiring. There were many opinions, particularly from SMEs, that they seek someone who is industry-ready because there is no time to train staff.
  3. 3 Companies responding that they are planning to hire non-fulltime employees substantially decreased, by 7.4 points, from the previous survey, to 36.8%, and declined to the 30% range for the first time in nine years. By type of business, “restaurants,” which were severely understaffed in the past, ranked top at 73.1%, followed by “retail trade, general merchandise,” including supermarkets, at 69.6%.
  4. 4 When asked about their response to “securing employment opportunities up to 70 years old,” which will be a new commitment requiring the best effort from April 2021, “introducing a continued employment system up to 70 years old” had the highest percentage, at 25.4% (multiple answers, and the same shall apply hereinafter). In addition, “a system that allows staff to work up to 70 years old already exists,” and “a response has not yet been considered (at this point)” stood at 16.4% and 32.4%, respectively. Companies responding “do not know” accounted for 14.9%, which showed their stance of sitting on the fence. While some positive opinions were heard from companies, various challenges were raised in some types of business, in terms of strength, etc.
Economic and Industry Trends TOP