“The problem is that women, though they are going to work, are mostly getting dead-end jobs. More than two-thirds of female labor force entrants, in fact, are climbing onto this slow track, meaning that they are destined to be second-class economic citizens for the rest of their working lives. Meanwhile, male entrants are given fast-track jobs at a much higher rate.
So the labor system is a sort of caste system, with a mostly female lower level and a mostly male upper strata. In some sense, this is progress, because women are no longer confined to the home, and now that they are in the workforce, women will undoubtedly demand better jobs.
But the sclerotic nature of this two-tiered labor market is a huge and continuing drag and it should be next on Abe’s hit list. Gender equality demands it, but so does the economic health of the nation, since the impossibility of advancing from the lower track to the upper track amounts to an enormous misallocation of talent and skill.” (Noath Smith, Bloomberg/Japan Times)
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