雇用不安 新成長戦略で働く場確保を

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The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 30, 2009)
New growth strategy needed to protect jobs
雇用不安 新成長戦略で働く場確保を(11月30日付・読売社説)



At the end of last year, a large number of manufacturers across the nation fired temporary workers even before their work contracts expired. To help those who lost jobs, a civic group set up a tent camp, called Toshikoshi Hakenmura (village for temporary workers to see out the old year), in Tokyo's Hibiya Park. A year later, the country's employment situation has grown even more serious.
 昨年暮れは製造業の派遣切りが続き、日比谷公園に「年越し派遣村」ができた。1年たった今、雇用情勢は一段と深刻化している。



How effective will the government's emergency employment measures be? The government must do all it can to alleviate the severe employment situation as the year-end approaches.
 政府の緊急雇用対策は、どれだけの効果が期待できるか。年の瀬を前に、政府は雇用対策に全力を挙げなければならない。



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Situation in rural areas bleak
 ◆深刻な地方へのしわ寄せ◆



Kitakami, a city located in the southwest of Iwate Prefecture, has some of the leading industrial parks in the country. Blessed with vast plains and abundant water, the city capitalizes on its good location connected to an expressway.
 岩手県の南西部に位置する北上市は、全国有数の工業団地を持つ。広大な平野と豊かな水資源に恵まれ、高速道路も整備された立地条件の良さが売り物である。



With a large number of leading companies having set up plants there, the city until recently enjoyed a reputation as having successful industrial parks where a variety of industries are concentrated. Yet the tide of recession is sweeping toward the city.
 大企業が次々と進出し、産業集積が進んだ成功例とされるが、その北上市にも、景気悪化の荒波が押し寄せている。



At Iwate Toshiba Electronics Co., a Toshiba Corp. subsidiary located in an industrial park in the northern part of the city, a vast plot of land lies vacant next to the firm's semiconductor plant.
 市内北部の工業団地にある東芝子会社の岩手東芝エレクトロニクス。稼働中の半導体工場の横には広い敷地が残されたままだ。



Toshiba announced in 2008 it would build a new plant in Kitakami to produce cutting-edge NAND flash memory products. But the firm decided early this year to postpone construction of the plant due to flagging sales of semiconductors and a serious downturn in business. The site for the planned flash memory plant will soon see its second winter.
 東芝は2008年、最先端のNAND型フラッシュメモリーの北上新工場を建設すると発表した。ところが、今年初め、半導体不況と業績悪化を理由に建設を延期した。新工場は着工されず2度目の冬を迎えようとしている。



Under the initial plan, the plant was scheduled to start operation in spring 2010 and employ about 1,000 new workers.
 計画通りならば、来春以降に稼働し、1000人規模の新規雇用が見込まれていた。



About three years ago, the ratio of job offers to job seekers in the city rose to about 1.9 thanks to companies that flooded to the city to open new plants. As a result, the city ran short of workers. But now, the job-offers-to-job-seekers ratio has nosedived to about 0.3. Kitakami Mayor Akira Ito awaits the day when Toshiba decides to start the construction.
 北上市は約3年前、企業進出ラッシュで有効求人倍率が1・9倍程度まで上昇し、人手不足の時期もあった。それが今や、約0・3倍に急落した。伊藤彬市長は、東芝の着工決断を待つ日々だ。



The mayor has been visiting companies with branches in the city, asking them to hire even one more employee, in what he calls his "plus one" campaign.
 「プラスワン」作戦――。一人でも多くの採用を求める陳情攻勢を市長はそう名付け、地元に進出した企業を回り続ける。



This situation is not confined in Kitakami, but can be seen across the country. NEC Corp. has closed its liquid crystal panel plant in Izumi, Kagoshima Prefecture, while Honda Motor Co. postponed operation of its new plant in Yoriimachi, Saitama Prefecture.
 こうした状況は北上に限らない。NECの液晶パネル工場閉鎖(鹿児島県出水市)、ホンダの新工場稼働延期(埼玉県寄居町)など、全国で相次いでいる。



Listed companies' midterm earnings reports for the period ending in September showed that their business performance is improving. But they are still cautious about making capital investments as they strive to cut costs to be globally competitive.
 上場企業の今年9月中間決算は、業績改善を裏付けた。しかし、グローバル競争を勝ち抜くため、各社は、コスト削減を徹底しており、設備投資には慎重だ。



The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry announced Friday that the number of jobless people was 3.44 million in October, while the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.1 percent. The nation's job-offers-to-job-seekers ratio remains at a low level, at a seasonally adjusted 0.44.
 総務省が27日発表した10月の完全失業者は344万人で、完全失業率は5・1%だった。全国の有効求人倍率も0・44倍と、低水準が続いている。



Under its slogan of "From concrete to people," the administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatomaya touts a policy shift that allocates taxpayers' money to programs related to people's lives, rather than to public works programs, as was seen in the past. This policy shift has slashed the number of public works projects, which local economies rely heavily on, dealing a heavy blow to the economies, which were already suffering from the ongoing wave of corporate restructuring.
 鳩山政権は、「コンクリートから人へ」の政策転換を掲げる。頼みの公共工事が激減したうえ、企業リストラも加わり、特に地方経済にはダブルパンチである。



The government, which compiled emergency employment measures in October, has begun studying additional employment measures for inclusion in the second supplementary budget for fiscal 2009.
 政府は、10月に緊急雇用対策をまとめたのに続き、2009年度第2次補正予算に盛り込む追加雇用対策を検討し始めた。



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 ◆求められる大胆な追加策◆
Bolder steps needed



With the number of jobless rising, there are fears of downside risks for the economy, making it vitally important for the government to come up with new bold measures.
 失業者が増え続け、景気腰折れも懸念されており、ここは大胆な対策を打ち出すべきだ。



The pillar of the emergency employment measures is the provision of assistance to those who have lost their jobs and are in poverty and distress, and to new graduates, as well as the creation of jobs, mainly in such areas as nursing care, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, for about 100,000 people by the end of this fiscal year.
 政府の雇用対策は、仕事を失った貧困・困窮者や新卒者への支援のほか、介護や農林業などを中心に年度末までに約10万人の雇用創造を目指すことが柱である。



With the measures, the government aims to make the Hello Work job placement offices one-stop centers that, as well as helping unemployed people find jobs, can also help those who have become homeless as a result of losing their jobs find accommodation. But these measures are nothing new.
 ハローワークの支援機能や住宅支援策の強化を目指すが、旧来型の政策で目新しさはない。



Meanwhile, to encourage firms to temporarily lay off rather than fire employees, the government will ease requirements for receiving a governmental subsidy to defray costs relating to layoffs.
 政府は、従業員を解雇せず休業などにとどめた企業を支援する雇用調整助成金の要件を緩和する。



Steps such as these would go some way to protecting jobs. But subsidies like the one for firms furloughing workers should be expanded, while the government should carefully design job-training programs.
雇用維持に一定の効果が期待できるが、助成金をさらに拡充すべきだろう。きめ細かな職業訓練も強化しなければならない。



The ratio of college students graduating next spring who have received unofficial job offers hovered at around just 60 percent as of October, leaving the job situation for job-hunting college students extremely tight. To avoid creating a generation of unemployed people, it is an urgent task to boost such assistance.
 来春の大卒予定者の就職内定率は、10月現在で約60%に低迷し、「超氷河期」と言われる。就職できない「ロストジェネレーション」を生み出さないよう、支援対策の強化も急務だ。



What is probably important in the mid- and long term is to expand job opportunities.
 中長期的に肝心なのは、雇用機会を拡大することだろう。



Although the government has set a target of creating 100,000 jobs, that figure is dwarfed by the number of jobless, which has ballooned to 3.44 million.
 政府が雇用創出の目標に掲げた10万人は、344万人に膨らんだ失業者と比べると力不足だ。



Expanding cooperation among the sectors of agriculture, commerce and industry will reinvigorate these primary industries and boost tourism, the government should mobilize all workable policy steps so as to create more jobs in rural areas.
1次産業を活性化させる農商工連携の拡大や観光ビジネスなども絡め、政策を総動員し、地域の雇用を広げる工夫が求められる。



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Domestic industries at risk
 ◆国内産業の空洞化を防げ◆



Job-creation measures will also directly lead to measures to prevent the hollowing out of domestic industries.
 雇用対策は、国内産業の空洞化を防ぐ対策にも直結する。



Driven by fierce price-cutting competition for their products at home, more and more companies are shifting their production bases out of the country, further reducing the number of job opportunities. As a result, the Japanese economy is in danger of falling into a vicious cycle in which it becomes increasingly anemic.
 企業は製品の値下げ競争に追われるように、工場の海外移転を加速させており、雇用機会の縮小は深刻だ。日本経済は、それによってさらに弱体化する悪循環に陥りつつある。



For such reasons, the government needs to hammer out a new growth strategy that will revitalize domestic industries and regional economies.
 だからこそ、政府は、国内産業や地域が活性化できる新成長戦略を打ち出さねばならない。



The promotion of new industries that can capitalize on Japan's strong points, such as those in the area of environmental protection, will generate economic vitality and create jobs. The government needs to present a clear-cut vision to give domestic industries and regional economies hope for the future.
 環境などの日本の強みを生かした新産業をテコ入れし、活力を生みだし、雇用増につなげる――将来に希望を持てる、そんな明確なビジョンを示す必要がある。



In this respect, the key will be to generate demand in other Asian countries for Japanese goods by reinforcing product-development and export strategies targeted at consumer markets in Asia.
 アジアの消費者向けの市場を狙い、商品開発や輸出戦略も強化するなど、アジアの需要を国内に取り込むことが重要になろう。



(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 30, 2009)
(2009年11月30日01時11分  読売新聞)


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by kiyoshimat | 2009-11-30 12:25 | 英字新聞

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