A “white paper” recently released by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry reported that, according to a survey of Hello Work outlets (i.e., government-run employment offices), since last October approximately 229,000 non-regular workers lost their jobs. The ministry looked at about 125,000 of these cases more closely and found that 3,400 of them also lost their housing as a direct result of their sudden unemployment, which probably indicates that these unfortunate people were kicked out of their residences because those residences was provided by their employers. The report went on to say that these people did not have any money saved, thus further indicating that they are most likely homeless at the moment, unless they had family or friends who will put them up. The longer-term problem of no savings is that without the money for the deposits and key money required to move into a rental property, these people are stuck in a Catch-22 situation. They can’t ask for welfare or apply for unemployment insurance without an address, and they can’t get an address without a job.
In the late 90s there was a social phenomenon that made a big impression on the media called parasite singles. These were mostly young women who held full-time jobs but still lived at home with the folks because it was more comfortable–mom cooked and cleaned, and while many of these singles contributed to the household funds, it wasn’t nearly as much as they would have spent had they lived on their own, renting their own apartments. Consequently, they had lots of disposable income to spend on clothing and travel. Many got married, but many didn’t, because they basically had it pretty good, especially women. Who wanted to pick up after and cook for a husband? Read More