The average real, or inflation-adjusted, wages in April for employees in Japan decreased 3.1 percent from a year earlier, marking the largest year-on-year fall in more than four years, the labor ministry reported Tuesday.
The pace of decline was the fastest since December 2009, when the wages decelerated 4.3 percent from year-before levels.
An increasing number of companies raised wages this spring but price rises triggered by a consumption tax hike on April 1 could not be absorbed, according to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
“The pay rise trend needs to be closely monitored until summer” as small and medium-sized companies are still working on pay negotiations, the ministry said.
Average monthly pay for workers in Japan rose 0.9 percent in April from a year earlier to 274,761 yen, thanks to increased overtime pay and bonuses, according to the ministry.
Nonscheduled cash earnings, including overtime pay, grew 5.1 percent to 20,564 yen, while special salary including bonus payments increased 20.5 percent to 10,208 yen.
But the average basic salary fell for the 23rd straight month, declining 0.2 percent to 243,989 yen.
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