Special pay jumped 8.2% in March


Bonuses and other special payments increased 8.2 percent in March from a year earlier, the government said in a preliminary report Wednesday.

Special payments per worker stood at ¥15,046, rising for the third straight month, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said.

The increase appears to reflect a rise in the number of companies that paid extra bonuses following recent gains in stock prices, a ministry official said. By sector, special allowances paid by financial and insurance companies averaged ¥42,035 per worker, jumping 82.3 percent from a year before.

Meanwhile, total wages, combining basic wages and special payments, declined 0.6 percent to ¥275,746 on average, falling for the second month in a row.

The fall came as March had one more Sunday this year than it did last year and working hours fell as a result, the official said. Regular wages, such as basic pay, went down 0.8 percent to ¥241,922, while nonregular wages, including overtime pay, fell 3.7 percent to ¥18,778.