The average summer bonus at major companies this year declined 2.52 percent from a year earlier to ¥971,777, down for the first time in two years, an initial tally by the Japanese Business Federation showed Tuesday.

Labor unions’ requests to raise pay scales, rather than bonuses and other lump-sum payments, and sluggish growth in corporate earnings are thought to be factors behind the decrease, according to the tally by the top business lobby, also known as Keidanren.

“The momentum of pay increases is continuing” as the average figure surpassed ¥900,000 for the fifth consecutive year on an initial tally basis, a Keidanren official said.

The average bonus dropped 2.29 percent to ¥942,306 at 75 manufacturers and 3.31 percent to ¥1,340,275 at eight nonmanufacturers, according to the tally.

Of 15 industries covered by the tally, four saw an increase and 11 experienced a decrease.

By industry, the labor-hungry construction sector posted the highest amount, at ¥1,560,672, followed by the automobile sector at ¥1,023,095.

The tally covered 251 major companies from 21 industries that are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section and have at least 500 workers.

The final tally will be disclosed in late July.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.