How are the Flyjin indicies going?

Someone has asked me if I have anything to report.

Yes, and no.

One index, that you can regularly track, is the number of job postings at Wall Street Associates, the EN Japan subsidiary that is “always looking for great people”. I have been visiting the main page, and they are up a grand total of NINE net new postings since last week, as you can see from my Excel spreadsheet (Eastern Daylight Time dates):

What I have been told by someone in the recruiting business is that, as far as they could determine, whichever business people left Tokyo from the major corporations are being replaced internally, from overseas branches. (This goes against the mantra that candidates MUST be fluent in Japanese, but that’s another post.) I have a feeling, what it is, is that very few people left.

There are the Japanese METI indicators of employment in the Foreign Language Conversation Schools (外国語会話教室), but the data is only updated to February 2011–before the disaster. I also notice that immediate prior months are subject to revision. What is nice about this series is that there is a column, Column Y in the spreadshet, for number of instructors.

I think that foreign language instructors would be the quintessential “flyjin”, since most are not regular employees, and, almost always, are on limited contracts. So that will be one to watch.

Still one more indicator are job responses that I get, having planted some seeds around the Tokyo area before I left. Since I am still in the hunt, I am of course keeping one eye out for any possibilities. I did get a grand total of one response this week. So factor that as a “one”. (I get several in Pennsylvania, but nothing that converts to an offer.)

As I said to the regulars the other day, I think the Flyjin phenomenon is B.S. It’s a way to get an article about yourself in the newspaper. I do believe, however, that the number of foreigners who used to be, routinely, in and out of Tokyo and environs has dropped. But it’s nothing like 100,000 people dropping everything and going back to their home countries. It’s more like, suddenly, there are these scattered openings because people left. And vacationers are avoiding the nation in droves because of the overall headlines, not necessarily Fukushima.

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