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Chapter 1 9 THE UNDERLYING CAUSES OF JOB INSECURITY The job insecurities of middle-aged and older white collar workers / The actual state of unemployment by age and schooling / Unemployment among high school grads more serious than among college grads / The future of the labour market / "Unemployed" and "not in the labour force" / Will the unemployment rate go down? / A country where only one out of every two works The data speak Why will only one out of two Japanese be working in 2050? Chapter 2 29 THE "PARASITE SINGLE" EXPLANATION Worsening youth employment / What is a "parasite single"? / Misperceptions about youth unemployment / The repercussions of an aging workforce / Employment practices and the labor market / The entrenched vested rights of middle-aged and older workers / No hope for the future The data speak The graying workforce and hiring trends Chapter 3 51 MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT FREETERS An evil government plot? / The "seven-five-three" turnover rate / The labour market's "cohort effect" / Vocational guidance at the crossroads / Are freeters really the problem? The data speak Behind the "seven-five- three" phenomenon Chapter 4 73 AVERTING THE CLASH OF GENERATIONS Reservations about abolishing mandatory retirement / The current state of the mandatory retirement system / The mandatory retirement system and hiring / Classifying companies that have raised their retirement age / Is it possible to revise the right of dismissal? The data speak Raising the mandatory retirement age and hiring plans Chapter 5 95 THE INCOME GAP AND THE JOB GAP Wage disparity and a mounting sense of inequality / Is the gap widening? / Performance-based pay and perceptions of disparity / The job gap as seen from the perspective of working hours / Job change, part-time work, and a dual labour market Chapter 6 113 PERFORMANCE-BASED PAY AND A SENSE OF PURPOSE IN ONE'S WORK How are ability and work talked about? / Conditions for implementing a performance-based system / A "training-type" performance-based system / A performance-based system and hope for the future / Changes that can be implemented right away / The day "batteki" loses its meaning The data speak Performance-based pay and the incentive to work Chapter 7 131 CONDITIONS FOR A HAPPY JOB CHANGE Why job changes among middle-aged and older workers are unhappy / Stayers and leavers / Stayers' and leavers' outlook on life / The key to a happy job change / Human relations outside the workplace / Between the individual and the community / A harsh conclusion? The data speak Finding a new job, going into business for oneself and the importance of friends and acquaintances Chapter 8 157 BECOMING ONE'S OWN Boss A way for freeters to earn a living / Global trends / Women should become their own bosses / The "right time" for a startup / Getting through hard times / "Establishing one's stand" at forty The data speak The career needed for a successfull startup Conclusion 181 TALKING TO SEVENTY-YEARS-OLDS Why aren't there any jobs? / And yet... / Don't "try hard" at your job / What, then, should you "do"? / Having friends you can count on / If you run into trouble at work / What I really wanted to tell you