Much attention has been focused on the decline of traditional employment structures in the advanced industrial countries. Lesser attention has focused on this issue in Asia. In this comparative essay, the authors examine the changes in employment security in China, India, Japan, and South Korea. They focus on the historical development of the employment security social contract in these countries, noting the institutional features that gave rise to it in each country. They then examine the resilience of employment security norms under recent economic pressures. They find there has been substantial erosion in employment security during the 1990s in all four countries due to both increased competition and economic liberalization, although there is some variation in both the rate of erosion as well as the prospects for revival of the social contract. They assess the possibilities of a revival in this particular social contract, and the impact of the erosion on unorganized workers.