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Japan’s average monthly wages drop in April amid pandemic

Published on :  9 June, 2020 10:59 pm

9 June TOKYO : The average monthly wage for workers in Japan slumped in April owing to coronavirus-linked business shutdowns, the government said in a report on Tuesday.

According to Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, the average wages in nominal terms dropped 0.6 percent compared to the previous year to around 275,000 yen (2,500 U.S. dollars), marking the first decline in four months.

The figure equates to a 0.7-percent decline in price-adjusted real terms, marking a decline for a second straight month, the ministry’s preliminary figures showed.

In terms of full-time wage earners in the recording period, the ministry said average wages fell 0.6 percent on-year to 356,000 yen (3,290 U.S. dollars), marking the first drop in nine months.

Overtime payments, meanwhile, fell 12.2 percent compared to a year earlier, to an average of 17,984 yen (166 U.S. dollars), with the decline marking the steepest drop since January 2013, the data showed.

The hard-hit food services sector saw overtime hours for full-timers tumble 46.1 percent to an average of 4,113 yen (38 U.S. dollars), while part-timers in the sector saw overtime pay plummet 51.6 percent to an average of 1,416 yen (13 U.S. dollars), the ministry said.

A labor ministry official was quoted as saying that the drop in average wages and overtime pay was likely due to businesses halting operations under the state of emergency over the coronavirus being first declared on April 7 for Tokyo and other urban areas, before being expanded to cover the entire nation.

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