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Percentage of Companies Planning to Hire Full-time Employees Rises to 65.9%

- Surpasses Pre-Lehman Shock Levels -

Amidst a worsening labor shortage, the effective ratio of job openings to applicants stands at 1.59 times, its highest level since January 1974, 43 years and 11 months ago. The job offer tentative acceptance rate for new graduates also increased to 86.0% (university graduates) as of December 2017, marking the 7th consecutive annual increase and the highest rate recorded since the survey began in 1996. Furthermore, debate has intensified in the National Diet as the government makes “workstyle reforms” an important pillar of its policies.

Therefore, Teikoku Databank has conducted as survey of corporate attitudes toward FY2018 hiring trends. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the February 2018 TDB Trends Research.

*Survey Period: February 15 – 28, 2018; Companies Surveyed: 23,173; Valid Responses: 10,070 (Response Rate: 43.5%). Note that we have conducted surveys relating to hiring each year since February of 2005, making this our 14th such survey.

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

Survey Results (Summary)

1. 65.9% of companies responded that they are planning to hire full-time employees in FY2018, marking the 4th year in a row this percentage has exceeded 60%, and surpassing the FY2008 percentage (February 2008 survey) prior to the Lehman Shock. “Large companies,” in particular (84.0%), indicated a high motivation toward hiring, marking a new high since the start of the survey. The percentage of “small and med-sized companies” (61.3%) planning to hire also increased for the 2nd year in a row, surpassing 60% for the first time in 11 years. This indicates that the motivation to hire full-time employees is increasing and spreading to small and mid-sized companies

2. 52.4% of companies responded that they plan to hire non-fulltime employees, marking the first increase in 3 years, and indicating that the motivation for hiring non-fulltime employees has strengthened. In particular, over 90% of companies in the “restaurant” industry, and 80% of companies in the “entertainment services” and “retail food and beverage” industries, which are suffering from short supplies of non-fulltime employees, plan to hire non-fulltime employees.

3. The full-time employee ratio is expected to surpass the FY2017 ratio at 20.7% of the companies surveyed. The most common reason given for this was “to support business expansion” (51.5%), followed by “to fill vacancies left by retirees,” and “to increase hiring of full-time employees for the purpose of technology succession, etc.”, both in the 30% range

4. Top answer in terms of efforts relating to full-time employee workstyle was “to correct long working hours” at 46.3%, followed by “to increase wages” and “to promote the acquisition of paid vacation” both in the 40% range. 6 points for changing employee workstyles emerged from this survey (1. Efforts aimed at maintaining mental and physical health, 2. Efforts aimed at balancing work and family, 3. Efforts aimed at making use of diverse human resources, 4. Efforts aimed at developing human resources, 5. Efforts aimed at maintaining work environments that support flexible workstyles, and 6. Efforts aimed at building fair wage systems)


1.Research Subjects(Companies Researched 23,173 ; Valid responses: 10,070 ; Response rate: 43.5%)

2.Research Items

*Business Confidence (current, in 3 months, in 6 months, in 1 year)

*Business Conditions (sales, purchasing and selling unit price, inventory, capacity utilization ratio, number of employees, overtime work hours)

3.Research Period and Methodology

Internet-based survey conducted January 18 – 31 2018

The explanation of the Economic Diffusion Index

Research Purpose/Researched Terms

TDB Economic Trend Research (started from May 2002) is a monthly statistical survey conducted for over 20,000 nationwide corporations on their general business activities including the current condition and future outlook of the industry business performance and operating climate. The primary purpose of such a survey is to assess the current state of Japan’s economy.

Selection of the Subject Corporations

Companies of all sizes in all domestic industries are eligible to participate in the survey.

DI Formula

The DI (Diffusion Index) is calculated by attaching a number (in parenthesis in the diagram below) to each of seven possible responses. Then multiplying the percentage of each response by the appropriate number, and adding the results.

A DI over 50 is in the range of “Good.” A score under 50 is “Bad.” The number 50 is the dividing point (“Neither Good or Bad”). All numbers are rounded off to the hundredth. It should be noted that no weight is given to a company’s responses based on its size. Calculations are made according to a “one company, one vote” rule.

For example, all corporations rated ‘Very Good’.


All corporations rated ‘Neither Good nor Bad’.


Size Classification

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