• Kyodo News

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Average wages at companies with at least five employees rose 1.5 percent in April to ¥275,985 from a year earlier, up for the second straight month, the government said Monday.

An increase in overtime pay stemming from the economic recovery helped boost overall wages despite a continuous fall in scheduled pay, including basic salary, according to data from the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Nonscheduled wages, such as overtime pay, increased 11.3 percent to ¥18,650, while scheduled pay, including basic salary, dropped 0.4 percent to ¥247,190 for the 21st month of consecutive decline.

The fall in scheduled pay reflects companies’ efforts to cut wages and other fixed costs amid deflation, analysts said.

Overtime hours in the manufacturing sector, a key economic gauge, rose 53.4 percent.

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