Wages crept up 0.3% in January

Kyodo

The regular monthly wage for workers crept up 0.3 percent in January from a year earlier to an average ¥261,074, climbing for the first time in 13 months on pay raises in the welfare, medical and manufacturing sectors, the health ministry said Tuesday.

The average base wage inched up 0.3 percent to ¥242,642 and overtime pay rose 1.2 percent to an average ¥18,432, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s monthly survey.

But the overall monthly wage, including bonuses and other irregular pay, remained static at ¥273,318 because irregular pay shrank an average 5.3 percent, the ministry said.

By industry, regular wages at manufacturers grew 1.1 percent to ¥294,428, while those in the medical and welfare industries gained 1.7 percent to ¥251,367. Since all three sectors have large workforces, the rises pushed up the economywide wage estimates.

Meanwhile, overtime work in the manufacturing sector, a key indicator of the general economic climate, increased 1.5 percent to 13.3 hours, marking the fifth straight monthly rise.