• Jiji

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Nominal wages in Japan in August fell 1.3 percent from a year before to ¥273,263 on average, down for the fifth straight month, the labor ministry said Friday.

Nonregular pay declined sharply as companies reduced overtime amid the coronavirus crisis.

Of the total wages, regular pay edged down 0.1 percent to ¥244,547, and nonregular pay, including overtime, declined 14.0 percent to ¥16,617, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

The pace of decline in nonregular pay slowed after a 26.3 percent fall in May, approaching the April level of 12.8 percent.

Monthly work hours per person dropped 5.0 percent to 129 hours, against a 2.7 percent fall in July, apparently because many people took longer summer breaks.

Extra work hours, mainly overtime, fell 13.1 percent to 8.6 hours. Extra work hours plunged about 40 percent in the life-related services sector, including the tourism industry, and 30 percent in the restaurant industry, dampened by the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The inflation-adjusted real wage index fell 1.4 percent, the ministry said.

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