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News Release

Income Gaps: Present Status and Outlook
- Income Gap Growth is Slowing -

December 9, 2009

This article examines macroeconomic data with a view to determining whether, in recent years, income gaps have been widening within every generation (making allowance for population aging), or whether they have been increasing in groups with higher or lower income levels, and considers the political implications.

In the latter half of the 1990s, the gaps in labor income, etc. began to widen, especially in the younger generations. In recent years, however, against a backdrop of sustained economic recovery, the tendency to use morenon-regular labor that had been accelerating since the late 1990s has slowed, and this is beginning to slow the growth of income gaps in some areas.To prevent income gaps from widening, especially in lower income groups, it is important to ensure sustained economic growth.

However, even if the economy continues to grow, the fact that conditions make it difficult for "freeters" [ ("free-arbeiters"): young people whochoose not to start a career after leaving full-time education but live with relatives and earn some money with low-skilled and low-paid jobs] to start a career, it will be necessary to expand support measures at a micro level, such as job skills development programs for young people.

For more information on the content of this report, please contact: Ota, Ogata the Japan Research Institute, Limited.

Tel: 03-3288-5011, 5120
E-mail:ota.kiyoshi@jri.co.jp, ogata.naoko@jri.co.jp

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