「最後のヤマ」閉山離職者の再就職過程:太平洋炭礦と釧路地域  [in Japanese] Former coal miners and their re-employment:Microdata analysis of "the Last Coal Mine" in Kushiro, Japan  [in Japanese]

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Abstract

       In 2002, Taiheiyo Colliery Co, Ltd., the last coal mine in Japan, closed, resulting in the unemployment of 1,600 people. Their re-employment was extremely difficult. The objective of this paper is to analyze how the characteristics of the last coal mine affected their subsequent careers, using longitudinal microdata of all miners who lost jobs due to the Taiheiyo closure. We can trace them for three years until they lost eligibility for unemployment insurance. <br>       We assume two factors for the difficulty in re-employment. First, the last colliery could not offer other mining jobs as had former mine closings, except one new small-scale mine, Kushiro Coal Mine Company, Ltd., (KCM). It was established under the 5-year project to actively transfer world-leading mining technology to Asian countries, so it could employ only 500 people. In addition, the local area centering on Kushiro did not have sufficient jobs to absorb these workers due to the recession.<br>       Second, while most miners at other mines lived in company housing, Taiheiyo had a unique welfare policy that promoted home ownership. It is said that this unique housing policy enabled Taiheiyo to survive until the last moment. Therefore, at the closure of the mine, 74% of the miners owned their houses and they preferred to stay and seek jobs in Kushiro. Of course, house ownership lightened the conditions for seeking jobs in Kushiro, but made miners hesitate to seek jobs outside Kushiro. Therefore, when Kushiro fell intorecession, motivation to seek employment decreased, especially in the case of elderly. We conclude that thehousing policy led to a dysfunction in re-employment

Journal

  • Annals of Regional and Community Studies

    Annals of Regional and Community Studies 25(0), 109-125, 2013

    Japan Association of Regional and Community Studies

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