The National Personnel Authority said Tuesday the basic monthly pay and bonus levels for government workers should stay the same in fiscal 2006 because its newly altered survey shows there is almost no gap between public- and private-sector salaries.

Last year, the agency urged the government and the legislature to cut the basic monthly pay for civil servants by 0.36 percent but to raise bonuses by 0.05 of a month’s pay for fiscal 2005. In total, the recommendations meant a cut of 0.1 percent, or 4,000 yen, in public workers’ annual income.

The average annual income for administrative workers aged 40.4 is currently 6.32 million yen, the officials said.

In compiling the fiscal 2006 report, which was submitted to the Cabinet and the Diet, the agency surveyed the pay of about 430,000 workers at about 12,000 firms as of April.

However, in the first change in the survey’s criteria in 42 years, the size of private companies covered in the survey was changed this year to include those with 50 or more workers, instead of 100 or more previously. Pay levels at large firms tend to be higher than at smaller ones.

The survey found basic monthly pay in the private sector topped that of national government workers by only 18 yen, while private-sector bonuses were worth 4.45 months of pay, almost the same as the public sector’s 4.43 months.

Monthly pay at firms with a workforce of 100 or more was greater by 1.12 percent, or 4,252 yen, than national government workers, and their bonuses exceeded the public sector by 0.05 month’s worth.

The change in the criteria helped reduce personnel costs by some 94 billion yen for fiscal 2006, according to the officials.

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