Japan labor shortage triggers surge in bankruptcies

Many business owners in Japan are struggling to find enough workers to stay afloat. The number declaring bankruptcy as a result was at a record high in the first half of this year.

Private research firm Teikoku Databank says Japan's labor shortage drove 182 companies to the wall between January and June. The number was up by 72 from a year earlier. It's the highest figure since the firm started keeping track.

Fifty-three of the businesses were in the construction industry, and 27 were in logistics. The two sectors accounted for roughly 40 percent of all failures.

The research firm says strict new rules on overtime in the two industries made it harder for companies to attract manpower.

It says about 80 percent of failures were operations with under 10 employees, suggesting smaller firms have a harder time finding staff.

Teikoku Databank officials say more businesses are offering higher pay to combat the problem. They say workers are increasingly avoiding firms that aren't prepared to offer bigger wages.