Study: Payrolls of Japan Firms in State Swell 56% in 4 Years

Times Staff Writer

Japanese companies added more muscle to their No. 1 position as California's leading foreign employer by adding more than 27,000 workers to their payrolls over the last four years, according to a study released Thursday.

The survey of firms that belong to the Japan Business Assn. of Southern California showed that Japan-based companies employ a total of 77,610 people throughout the state. That was up 56% from the 49,875 Californians who worked for Japanese companies in 1983 when the JBA conducted its last survey.

The findings also provide an update to a report by the California Department of Commerce, released only this year, that put 1984 employment at Japanese-owned firms at 53,100, or 19.1% of the 279,000 workers employed by all foreign companies in California at that time. Britain was second, followed by West Germany.

The JBA survey, which did not include data on Japanese investment, showed that about 62,888, or 81% of the workers, are employed in Southern California, where most Japanese companies have located their U.S. operations.

"Our JBA survey has shown an important involvement by Japanese firms in the state's economy, one that has grown from our earlier manufacturing presence to one that is significantly more diversified in directions like real estate and construction, travel and other service-oriented business," said Teruhiko Ena, JBA president and general manager of the Mitsubishi International Corp.


Industry 1987 1983 % Change Transportation equipment 27,469 14,877 84.6 Electric, electronic 14,575 10,662 36.7 Banks 12,330 9,120 35.2 Services 4,219 2,099 101.0 Trade, commerce 3,800 3,129 21.4 Precision machinery 3,252 2,003 62.4 Machinery, parts 2,306 954 141.7 Transportation, warehousing 2,169 1,536 41.2 Misc. manufacturing 1,669 1,569 6.4 Metal 1,423 581 144.9 Chemical 1,076 594 81.1 Other (11 industries) 3,322 2,751 8.4 Total 77,610 49,875 55.6

Source: Japan Business Assn. of California; 506 of 549 JBA member companies responded to 1987 survey; 393 of 434 responded to 1983 survey.

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