Interest in ‘silver’ jobs declines as older people seek better wages

The number of older people enrolled in centers that offer jobs for people 60 and over has declined, with retirees opting for higher wages amid a wave of hiring. Less than 700,000 seniors are registered for the first time in 19 years.

A growing number of older people are healthy and active, and some refuse to think of themselves as “money”, a term used to refer to older people in Japan.

Dubbed Silver Human Resource Centers, the sites were created to empower older people and revitalize communities through employment. National and local governments subsidize the operating costs of approximately 1,300 centers nationwide, where staff organize work for the elderly that involves short shifts and light tasks, such as weeding and cleaning. The average monthly salary, usually less than $ 400, is intended to supplement pensions.

According to the National Silver Human Resources Center Association, there were approximately 698,000 members at the end of fiscal 2020, down 17,000 from the previous year.

The silver center model was established in Tokyo in 1975 and became regulated in 1986, which spurred the growth of silver centers nationwide. In fiscal 2009, the membership had exceeded 790,000.

But the numbers have been dropping since companies raised the retirement age for employees and started rehiring retirees. This comes as the government strives to gradually raise the age of public pension payments in the face of aging Japanese society.

In addition, with the spread of COVID-19, more and more seniors have given up work.

In areas where population decline and other factors have resulted in severe labor shortages, some centers have been unable to meet job demands. The centers also face other challenges. Job seekers wishing to work do not always have the experience or skills that match the positions available.

Some centers are attempting to increase membership by asking clients to expand their employment options, to include positions such as kindergarten and senior care assistants, and customer service representatives in local offices. supermarkets.

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