Doda Report: 2021 Mid-Year Job Market Growth and Trends in Japan

Doda Report: 2021 Mid-Year Job Market Growth and Trends in Japan

According to 2021 mid-year figures provided by Doda, the job market in Japan is recovering at a favorable rate—in fact, faster than the recovery rate seen after the Lehman Shock of 2008. 

Doda, operated by Persol Career, is a portal site for job seekers, helping with career transitions and improvements. 

As of the end of June 2021, the total number of registered Doda members was approximately 6.29 million.

This number serves as the basis for their job trend report, published in July, where they noted the ratio of job offers to job seekers in June 2021 was up to 1.86

Note: Doda’s ratio of job offers to job seekers is calculated by the number of mid-career jobs available for each registered user of the Doda agent service. (The job-to-application ratio is a measure of the supply-demand balance in the job market, particularly for white-collar workers.)

Doda’s sample set shows Japan’s job recovery during the first half of 2021 

Based on the data collected by Doda’s number of users and number of job openings, the ratio of job offers to job seekers rose 0.01 points month-on-month to 1.86 in June 2021

In June 2021, the number of job openings was at 105% compared to the previous month and 121.8% compared to June 2020. 

By industry, the number of job offers increased in June 2021 from the previous month in 8 out of 9 sectors, with the highest percentage of job openings in the finance sector at 113.8%, followed by the retail/food service sector at 112.2%. 

By occupation, the number of job openings recorded in June 2021 increased in all 11 occupation categories compared to the previous month. 

Of the 11 occupation categories, clerical and assistant positions had the highest increase, showing 119.5% compared to the previous month.

Image: Doda.jp, left-hand chart shows the jobs-to-application ratio by industry, and the right-hand chart shows the jobs-to-application ratio by occupation.

Image: Doda.jp, left-hand chart shows the jobs-to-application ratio by industry, and the right-hand chart shows the jobs-to-application ratio by occupation. IT and communications have the largest jobs-to-application ratio by industry at 5.53 (left-hand chart), reaffirming Japan’s well-established need for expertise in this field. 

Industries and occupations forecast to grow in the second half of 2021

Doda’s midyear report predicts job openings will increase during the second half of 2021 in industries such as manufacturing, finance, medical care, and chemicals and materials—with IT and Web positions leading the way. 

Roles in growth categories include IT engineers, web creatives, manufacturing engineers, construction and civil engineers, chemical engineers, medical and financial professionals, sales, administration (human resources, accounting, legal), and planning and marketing.

Nikkei, which referenced Doda’s midyear report, noted an increasing number of young people are changing jobs toward the aforementioned fields with high-growth potential. This shift in human resources to growth fields is largely seen by Japanese analysts as essential to increasing productivity in society as a whole. 

Quoting figures sourced from Recruit Agent, Nikkei reported the number of people in their early 20s who decided to change jobs in 2020 was 3.5 times above the average recorded in 2009 to 2013, showcasing a trend of increasing mobility (and career changes) among young adults. 

Image: Nikkei.com, showcasing the trend (green line) of 20 y/os changing jobs, compared to the starting-point average (figures recorded in 2009 to 2013). 

Image: Nikkei.com, showcasing the trend (green line) of 20 y/os changing jobs, compared to the starting-point average (figures recorded in 2009 to 2013). 

Returning to Doda’s forecast regarding an expected increase in job openings in the IT and Web categories: their reasoning points to the promotion of DX (Digital Transformation) by Japanese companies. 

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects, interest in DX among companies in Japan has steadily climbed. Subsequently, the coronavirus outbreak accelerated the demand and need for business transformation using data, digital technology, and online processes.

As an example of this 1-year sharp growth in digital, an annual survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, published in June 2021, revealed the number of surveyed enterprises that have implemented telework processes more than doubled in Reiwa Year 2 (2020) compared to numbers gathered from Reiwa Year 1 (2019). Additionally, close to 70% of surveyed corporations implemented cloud service software in 2020 for company-wide use or within use at a branch or division.

Against the backdrop of business transformation through IT and DX, Doda’s report stated companies’ desire to hire experienced personnel who can be immediately effective. These are companies initiating recruitment efforts in anticipation of an economic recovery once vaccination efforts are complete.  


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