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Economy in Brief

Japanese Wages Continue To Decline In June
by Louise Curley August 3, 2009

Cash earnings, including bonuses, for Japanese workers in all establishments of 5 or more persons were 430,620 Yen (approximately $4,500) in June, 8% below a year ago. The sharp decline was due to lower bonuses and less overtime pay. The average bonus in June of this year was 167,044 yen compared with 197,226 yen last June, a decline of more than 15%. Overtime pay was 15,725 yen compared with 19,275 yen a year ago, a decline of 18.42% and, although the decline was small, even base pay declined 1.4% to 247,851 yen from 251,437 yen a year ago.

Cash earnings in the manufacturing industry in establishments of 5 or more persons were down over 13% in June. Again, bonuses were the major cause of the decline. Bonuses in Manufacturing were 155,298 yen in June 2009, compared with 209,309 yen in June 2008, a drop of almost 40%. In contrast to industry as a whole, manufacturing saw an increase in base pay of 1.5% and an increase of 5.7% in overtime from May to June.

Total cash wages for all surveyed industries and for manufacturing are shown in the attached chart.

Japan Wages (Average monthly data in yen) Jun 09 May  09 Jun 08 M/M %  Y/Y % 2008  2007 2006
All Industries
Schedule wages 247851 242451 251437 1.39 -1.43 251069 249749 252809
Overtime 15725 15940 19275 -1.35 -18.42 19147 19753 19805
Total=Contractual Wages  263576 260391 270712 1.22 -2.64 270515 2695B02 272614
Bonuses 167044 7928 197226 n.m. -15.30 60538 60396 62844
Total Cash Wages 430620 268319 467938 n.m -7.97 331053 329898 335438
Manufacturing
Schedule wages 267443 263356 269229 1.55 -0.66 267625 265482 271803
Overtime 19424 18351 31988 5.69 -39.28 30963 33025 34168
Total=Contractual Wages  286867 281737 301217 1.82 -4.76 298588 298507 305972
Bonuses 155298 5836 209309 n.m. -25.80 75644 75664 59515
Total Cash Wages 442165 287573 510526 n.m. -13.39 374231 374171 385487
N.M. presented in the table is  because of the distortions in the monthly data due to the distribution of Bonuses in mid and end years, the month to month data for bonuses and total cash wages are not meaningful
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