Ministry urges labor policy shift

Corporate efforts to cut labor costs by reducing the number of regular employees and hiring more part-time and dispatch workers are actually stifling productivity and hampering economic growth, a government report said Tuesday.

In its annual white paper on labor and the economy, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare suggested that companies return to Japanese-style, long-term employment with an emphasis on nurturing their work forces and raising the added value per employee.

The ministry called on companies to devise well-planned strategies to hire new graduates and train personnel from a long-term vision.

The white paper for 2008 said such a shift in labor policy would be a key to sustaining economic growth at a time when the population is decreasing.

“Highly productive workers are nurtured through years of a variety of corporate work experiences,” the report said.