Flyjin indicators, updated.

This a follow-up to last month’s post on outward evidence of how many foreigners have really left Japan.

Regular readers may remember that, after a few weeks, I concluded that the Flyjin phenomenon was a lot of fluff. Flyjin were defined as non-Japanese people who left Japan due to the triple disasters of March. The word derived from the off-chance remark of one expat around Osaka, which then went viral through the blog-reporting of some expat journalists in Japan.

I am ignoring Chinese farm workers, since they were never really wrapped into this Flyjin fad. Did a lot of those folks leave Japan? I think yes.

So here is my first graph, the METI statistics on the Eikaiwa business in Japan. I am reporting all the series that I track, even though we are only looking at employment. It’s reported as FLAT for March.

It could be flat because no one has had a chance to update things amid the turmoil in Tohoku. That can be. It probably is. The other indicators on the graph are trending in a normal fashion. Fewer students, fewer classes, and the usual spike being created in the revenue-per-class line, because tuition is paid up-front.

It will be neat to see this graph series in one year’s time.

The second index is the recruiter Wall Street Japan want-ads index. I’ve also made this into a graph, with one series:

As you can see, the trend of the listings is up. But as I’ve studied the website, I’ve come to conclude that some of the postings—like with so many internet-based employment companies—might not be as fresh or as “real” as one might hope. I will have a few other interesting observations to share with you about the firm in another post.

Back to the graph: if the trend is up, it’s because of the Flyjin, right? One of my contacts there had said, no, because a number of companies making headlines about foreigner expats leaving had not been using Wall Street Japan to place. They mostly took candidates from within their own company–those employees of theirs that are based back home. (To me, this was key, because it says something about the whole “bilingual” professionals in Tokyo job market, which I am beginning to suspect is yet another internet hoax of a sort.)

So there you have it. In the Eikaiwa world, no big shakeup in the March figures. Maybe something in April. In the “bilingual professional” (ooooh! oooooh!) world, a slight rise in the number of postings, but no major flood of new openings. Additionally, some indication that the openings are refreshed, whether or not they are still there.

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