An Application of Input-Output
Techniques to Labor Force Allocation
in the Health and Medical and the
Social Welfare Service Sectors
The ageing of Japanese society had been and will continue to be very rapid compared with other developed countries. The proportion of the elderly (65 years old and over) to the total population in 1970, 1980, and 1985 was 7.1, 9.0, and 10.1 percent, respectively. The Ministry of Health and Welfare forecasts that this proportion will be 14 percent in 1996. This implies that the time needed for the proportion to change from 7 to 14 percent is only twenty-six years in Japan. In contrast, in West Germany and the United Kingdom forty-five years are needed, in Sweden eighty-five years; and in France (the slowest case) If 5 years are needed for such a change in the age structure of the population. The same estimates show that the proportion of elderly people in the year 2000 will be 15.6 percent and that the number will peak in 2020 at 21.8 percent. This will be the highest proportion among the developed countries.
The increase in number of elderly, especially those seventy five years old and over, causes an increase of demand for health, medical, and social welfare services. The increase in demand for these services usually leads to an increase in demand for labor in these sectors. At the same time Japan will face a decrease in the population of working age (fifteen to sixty four years old), as well as ageing of the working population, since the proportion of those aged forty and over in the work force will increase. Therefore the allocation of the labor force across industries, and the application of technological innovation in all industries, especially in the health and medical and the social welfare sectors, are now becoming very important problems.
In general it is very difficult to make a quantitative analysis of manpower needs in the social policy field (the health and medical and social welfare service sectors). However in this chapter we treat the requirement for workers in these sectors in the same way as the demand for labor in ordinary industries, and we analyze the industrial characteristics of these sectors, consider their interrelations with other industries, and try as far as possible to set out a quantitative analysis. For this purpose we apply input-output techniques to the problem of labor force allocation.