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The impact of a shrinking labor market on the healthcare industry

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While speaking with the head of talent acquisition at a major pharmaceutical company, I inquired about the percentage of new hires in the US sourced through agencies. He replied, “4%.” When I asked about Japan, he informed me that the percentage is significantly higher—40%, which is 163% above the US rate. The Nikkei reported this week that Japan’s population is projected to fall below 100 million in 2056 and the number of births will be below 500,000 in 2059. Despite having one of the highest life expectancies in the world, the decline in the workforce could happen more quickly than the reduction in healthcare employees. Unless productivity rises, the nation may be weakened by the decreasing population, necessitating the need for quick implementation of policies.

The total fertility rate was revised to 1.36, which is lower than the prior estimate of 1.44. This means that in 2059, there will be only 496,000 Japanese births. The native-born population will fall below 100 million in 2048, and the total population in 2070 is estimated to be 87 million. The number of foreign nationals in Japan is expected to increase to 160,000 per year from 70,000 per year, so they will comprise a larger portion of the population.

The demand for bilingual talent remains strong, while on the supply side, it is falling. Healthcare companies looking to digitalize all aspects of their business will seek to recruit from outside the industry with vigor for the first time, apart from ad hoc hires from consumer companies. If you are a digital marketer at a fast-moving consumer company, expect a call from a recruiter sooner rather than later.

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