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Japan’s wages decrease for first time in 5 months in Nov

Japan’s wages decrease for first time in 5 months in Nov

TOKYO: Japan’s wages decreased for the first time in five months in November as a decline in special pay including bonuses kept overall wages from rising as fast as consumer prices, the government said Friday.

Average inflation-adjusted wages fell 0.4% from the same month a year earlier, while nominal wages remained flat at 274,108 yen amid an 8.6% decrease in special pay, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a preliminary report.

A higher proportion of part-time workers in the workforce surveyed depressed the amount of special pay per worker. Part-time workers are often paid low bonuses or none at all. Meanwhile, scheduled wages including base pay grew 0.5% to 239,818 yen for the ninth consecutive monthly increase. The wages last grew at the same pace in February 2008.

“Wages are on a moderately upward trend,” a ministry official said. Unscheduled wages including overtime pay increased for the fifth straight month to 20,193 yen, up 1.1%. The survey was conducted on wages at companies with at least five employees.