Employees in Japan earning more, and feeling less satisfied

While many employees in Japan have turned to side jobs for extra cash, this has failed to allow them to achieve their desired income.
By: | February 23, 2024

Side hustles are becoming more of a reality for full-time employees in Japan as they seek to increase their salaries due to an effective wage drop caused by price hikes, as well as the increase in social insurance premiums.

However, a recent survey conducted by career change information website Mynavi Tenshoku has revealed that contrary to the expectations of increasing their income due to these side gigs, only a small percentage of these employees would be able to earn up to their desired income.

Surveying 800 regular employees aged 20 to 59, of which 400 had experience doing extra work, less than a quarter of the respondents (23.4%) considered side jobs an effective method for increasing their annual income.

Employees who engaged in side gigs hoped to earn on average an extra 1.26 million yen (U$8,400). However, the amount earned on average from side gigs amounted to 678,000 yen (US$4,500), showing a dissonance between expectations and reality. 59.2% of the employees who did side jobs saw earnings of less than 10,000 yen (US$67) annually. Employees who were able to earn 310,000 yen (US$2,060) or more amounted to 15.7%.

When asked about some of the consequences of having side jobs, common responses amongst employees were that they had less time for personal hobbies and felt a sense of fulfilment at 14.5% each. Of the respondents, 12.8% were unable to earn the desired income.

READ MORE: Employees in New Zealand want to work remotely more often

Furthermore, the median annual income from respondents’ main jobs was 4 million yen (US$27,000), while their desired median annual pay was 5.5 million yen (US$37,000). When asked if they were satisfied with their current earnings, nearly half of the respondents (48.4%) said they were either “not satisfied” or “not quite satisfied.” Overall, 65.5% of respondents reported feeling financial insecurity in their lives.

“Companies need to not only allow side jobs but also provide salaries that allow employees to live comfortably and securely,” Mynavi Tenshoku commented, reported The Manaichi.