Japan's average wages up for 1st time in 4-years in 2010

15:24, February 01, 2011      

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Average monthly wages in Japan increased in 2010 for the first time in four years, indicating a gradual recovery in the labor market, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said in a report on Tuesday.

In 2010, nominal average monthly cash earnings per regular employee in Japan inched up a preliminary 0.5 percent to average 317,092 yen (3,865 U.S. dollars), said the report. The 2010 figure follows a 3.8 percent decline logged in 2009.

Average base wages, including base salaries and family allowances, contracted 0.2 percent on year in 2010, however, marking the fifth year of decline. This follows a 1.3 percent retraction booked in 2009, it said.

In addition, the labor ministry reported that overtime hours worked, which significantly drives up cash earnings, rose 8.9 percent in 2010, marking the first rise in three years.

For the first time in four years, special cash earnings, including bonuses and other monetary perks, rose 1.5 percent following an 11.8 percent fall in 2009.

Monthly hours worked also rose for the first time in four years in 2010 to average 146.2 hours per month, which is an increase of 1.4 percent, according to the ministry's data.

Nonscheduled hours worked increased 32.3 percent and the number of hours of overtime and holiday work increased 8.9 percent in 2010, marking the first increase in three years.

The government report also showed that the number of regular workers rose 0.3 percent in 2010, up for the seventh straight year, following a 0.2 percent increase in 2009.

Source: Xinhua
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