Some 60 percent of Japanese firms are finding it increasingly difficult to secure sufficient workers, hit by a pervasive labor shortage that is pushing up hiring costs and starting to eat into profits, a Reuters poll showed.
Stemming from a rapidly ageing society where immigration is limited, the labor crunch has emerged amid an economic turnaround engineered by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and threatens to drag on growth.
Some restaurant chains and retailers such as home improvement firm Komeri Co have said they have been forced to rethink expansion plans, while others have actually shut stores. At the same time, a dearth of construction workers needed after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and ahead of the 2020 Olympics has pushed up building costs for all sectors.
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