Real wages see 1st fall in 2 yrs on price growth

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese real wages fell for the first time in two years in 2017, hurt by price growth, a government report said Wednesday.

The real wage index declined 0.2 percent from the previous year, according to the preliminary report by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

“Growth in wages has not caught up with price rises,” said an official at the ministry’s Employment, Wage and Labor Welfare Statistics Office.

In 2017, the average monthly pay to workers, including regular salaries, overtime and bonuses, rose 0.4 percent to ¥316,907, up for the fourth straight year. Meanwhile, the consumer price index excluding imputed rents increased 0.6 percent.

Real wages, obtained by adjusting nominal wages for inflation, are a measure of the purchasing power of workers.

In 2016, the real wage index grew for the first time in five years. Last year’s downturn resulted from price increases that reflected higher electricity rates and gasoline prices.

Of the total pay, regular wages, or base pay, rose 0.4 percent to ¥241,228, bonuses and other types of special pay increased 0.4 percent to ¥56,114, and unscheduled wages, chiefly overtime, grew 0.4 percent to ¥19,565.

Full-time employees saw their overall monthly pay advance 0.4 percent to ¥414,001 and part-time workers 0.7 percent to ¥98,353. Hourly wages of part-timers jumped 2.4 percent to ¥1,110, on the back of labor shortages.Speech

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