ESRI Discussion Paper Series No.234
How does the first job at graduation matter for female workers in Japan?

Saeko Maeda
Research Officer, Economic and Social Research Institute
Junya Hamaaki
Research Officer, Economic and Social Research Institute
Masahiro Hori
Research Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute
Keiko Murata
Special Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute Professor, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Tokyo Metropolitan University

The full text is written in Japanese.


Using micro-data from the Japanese Panel Survey of Consumers (JPSC), this paper analyzed an impact of macroeconomic conditions at graduation on the future job opportunities of female workers in Japan. More specifically, we examined whether the failure of obtaining a regular job at the time of graduation (for an individual) has a mid- and long-term effect on her future job status (i.e., regular job or not). By constructing a dataset of personal job history for individual workers after her graduation, we examined i) whether the first job status of an individual significantly matters to her future job status, ii) how the first job effect evolves with the passage of time after the graduation, and iii) whether the first job effect is contingent on the career path taken by the individual for a few years after her graduation.

We found that the first job appears to significantly matter to the future job status for female workers in Japan, and that the first job effect declines over years and effectively disappears after around ten years from their graduation. However, the observed first job effect depends on the path taken by the individuals, and the future job opportunities for a individual who could find a regular job within three years of her graduation (in spite of their failure in regular job-hunting at graduation) are not significantly different from those for the individual with a regular job at graduation.

Considering the non-negligible cost on young workers that happened to come under long-term recession at graduation, such as the "employment ice age" from 1998 to 2002 in Japan, some policy measures should be taken to resolve the displacement of the youth, who faced difficulties to transfer from school to work in the sluggish labor market conditions.

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