Unemployed Japanese Workers Try Farming

Agriculture offers job opportunities for underemployed young workers.

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Japan's unemployment rate is at a three-year high of 4.4 percent--still seems delightful compared with the U.S.'s unemployment rate of 8.5 percent--but it's trouble enough for Prime Minister Taro Aso to introduce a stimulus plan meant to preserve and create jobs.

Already, younger workers in need of jobs are being sent to work in the nation's farmland through the Rural Labor Squad program. The NYTimes reports: "In a play on words, the squad’s name in Japanese — Inaka-de-hatarakitai — is also its rallying cry: 'We want to work in the countryside!'"

The recession has provided an opportunity to mitigate the country's agricultural worker shortage for now, but agricultural jobs in Japan seem to face the same issues they do here, however: The pay can be poor and the work seasonal.

Still, bringing young urbanites to the country is a good thing. Japan's population is aging so quickly, particularly in rural areas, that some schools can't be filled, Bloomberg reports.


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