• Kyodo


Japan’s average monthly real wage plunged 3.0 percent in fiscal 2014, marking the largest fall on record and the fourth year of decline, as last year’s consumption tax hike took its toll, the labor ministry said Tuesday.

However, in nominal terms the average monthly wage rose for year, the first time that has happened in four years, the ministry said. The nominal wage includes bonuses, and hit ¥315,984 in the year that ended March 31.

Overall, the data indicated workers have yet to reap the benefits of any economic recovery from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies of aggressive monetary easing and massive fiscal spending.

The consumption tax hike of 3 percentage points to 8 percent in April 2014 “added to the rise in prices and led to a sharper fall” in average real wages, which take into account inflation, a ministry official said.

Of the total monthly average, the basic salary stood at ¥240,926, down 0.2 percent, its ninth year of decline.

Nonscheduled wages, such as overtime, rose 1.6 percent to ¥19,664, marking the fifth consecutive year of gain, the data showed.

It showed the monthly average wage for full-time workers increased 1.0 percent, while that of part-time workers rose 0.4 percent. The percentage of part-time workers in the workforce increased 0.47 points to 30 percent, limiting the overall increase to 0.5 percent.

The ministry previously said the average monthly wage in fiscal 2013 marked the first year-on-year rise in three years, but on Tuesday revised it to a 0.2 percent fall.

It also revised down the March average monthly pay from a preliminary 0.1 percent increase to remaining flat at ¥274,536.

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