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Japan’s real wages fell in November for first drop in five months

Kyodo, JIJI

Japan’s real wages decreased for the first time in five months in November as a decline in special pay, including bonuses, kept overall wages from rising as fast as consumer prices, the government said Friday.

Average inflation-adjusted wages fell 0.4 percent from the same month a year earlier, while nominal wages remained flat at ¥274,108 amid an 8.6 percent decrease in special pay, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said in a preliminary report.

Special wages plunged 8.6 percent to ¥14,097 on average, logging the first fall in five months.

A higher proportion of part-time workers in the workforce surveyed depressed the amount of special pay per worker. Part-time workers are often paid low bonuses or none at all.

The average wage grew by 0.1 percent to ¥352,094 for full-time workers and by 0.4 percent to ¥96,638 for part-time employees.

Meanwhile, overall scheduled wages including base pay grew 0.5 percent to ¥239,818 for the ninth consecutive monthly increase. The wages last grew at the same pace in February 2008.

Wages remain on a gradual upward trend, a ministry official said, noting that regular wages continue rising although special wages fell sharply in the latest reporting month.

Unscheduled wages, including overtime pay, increased for the fifth straight month to ¥20,193, up 1.1 percent.

The survey was conducted on wages at companies with at least five employees.

  • Roy Warner

    Ah, yes. They call that “Abenomics,” if I’m not mistaken.