Japan’s demographic reality is so extreme that even though it has the highest proportion of working seniors among developed countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, it’s not nearly enough to stem the labor shortage. The number of workers older than 65 rose to 7.3 million in 2015, or 21.7 percent of the population for that age group, according to data from the statistics bureau.
Japan’s worsening worker shortage also is stark: the number of workers is projected to decline to 56 million in 2030 from 64 million in 2014. This forecast by the Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training, a government-related group, is based on conditions that the economy and the labor force participation rate won’t change. To avoid such a shortage, the country needs to come up with more innovative policies to pull seniors into the workforce.