14 July, 2014

Staff Shortages Effect Services

A labour shortage in Japan is reaching crisis point for many key industries and has the potential to cripple the third largest economy in the world.  This is forcing airlines, stores and restaurant chains to reassess expansion plans and even cancel or close existing operations, simply because they cannot get the staff. 
Peach Aviation, the airline backed by Japan's largest airline, ANA confirmed last month it would have to cancel more than 2,000 flights over the rest of this year. Budget carriers Jetstar Japan and Vanilla Air have also cancelled hundreds of flights this summer, all because they cant get enough pilots. 
"There aren't enough captains and training one takes time and money," said Peach Aviation spokesman Hironori Sakagami.  "We wanted to increase the number of flights, but we had to delay that."

These are common problems for other big companies in the country as they struggling to fill positions due to minimal immigration, inflexible hiring laws and a working age population that is expected to shrink by 13 million people by 2030 and decades of deflation.
According to recent research, Japanese employers were advertising 109 jobs for every 100 job seekers in May of this year, representing the 18th consecutive rise in the ratio.  This is hitting many employers, especially those in the low wage category, where margins are slim Zensho Holdings which owns cheap fast food outlet Sukiya, had to issue an apology to shareholders for being forced to temporarily close around 200 stores because it couldn't find enough staff.
Peach and the other budget airlines in Japan are facing a less than certain future as the staff shortage problem looks set to worsen for the foreseeable future.