Summer bonuses to fall for first time in three years: Keidanren

Kyodo

The average summer bonus at major firms will fall 3.5 percent from the previous year to about ¥773,000, declining for the first time in three years, initial estimates compiled by Keidanren showed Thursday.

By industry, the average bonus in the manufacturing sector will dip 4.1 percent to roughly ¥766,000, with employees at steelmakers expected to see a plunge of nearly 13.4 percent. Bonuses at automakers, meanwhile, will likely drop around 3.2 percent, the nation’s leading business lobby reported.

In the nonmanufacturing sector, the average bonus will shrink 2.0 percent to about ¥790,000 due to the crushing impact of the Fukushima nuclear crisis on utilities and other companies in the power industry, it said.

The decline was caused by the devastating impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the yen’s appreciation, the eurozone’s debt crisis and the anemic U.S. economy, according to Keidanren.

The lobby group’s projections were based on 80 major firms that have already reached agreements on summer bonuses during labor-management negotiations. Keidanren said it doesn’t expect the downtrend to have changed significantly by the time it releases final estimates covering 245 major firms in July.