American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

A Statistical Comparative Study of the Working Poor in Japan and Canada

Masatoshi Murakami

DOI : 10.3844/ajebasp.2011.321.337

American Journal of Economics and Business Administration

Volume 3, Issue 2

Pages 321-337


Problem statement: Recently in Japan, there has been an increase in the group which is termed the ‘Working Poor’. However, the group’s size and configuration remains unknown. Approach: The purpose of this study is to compare the working poor in Canada and Japan using microdata. First, the definition and method of estimation of the working poor provided by (Iwai and Murakami, 2007) are provided along with later modifications. Second, results of the investigation into data appropriate for use in estimating Canada’s working poor and poverty line are given, as are estimates of Canada’s working poor. Last, the characteristics of unemployment, unstable employment and the labor market are examined for both Canada and Japan and the similarities and differences between the two countries are highlighted. Results: In Canada and Japan, the working poor are most likely to be found among the young, those with a low level of education, those in unstable employment or those working in a company having few employees. As regards the differences between the two countries, males are more likely to be the working poor than females in Canada, though this trend is not seen in Japan; moreover, the percentage of the working poor is high among the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups in Japan, though this is not the case in Canada. Conclusion: As conclusions of this study, the first challenge that lies ahead is to find data from the two countries that allows a more rigorous comparison. The second challenge is to re-evaluate estimates made to date after a full investigation of labor market systems. Statistical Analysis Research Project (2009), we have estimated the working poor of the UK and compared their figures with those of Japan. The third challenge is thus to add the findings of this study to those from the UK/Japan and thereby perform a trilateral comparison.


© 2011 Masatoshi Murakami. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.