Labour Ministry: Wages fell 3.3% in FY2009

According to a report released today by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, wages in Japan fell 3.3% to 315,311 yen per month in fiscal 2009. This is the strongest drop seen since the ministry began issuing data in 1991, while 2009 was the third consecutive year in which average wages fell in Japan according to the ministry’s data.

Basic compensation fell 1.1% to 245,278 yen while bonuses slumped 10.8% to 53,046 yen per month. Other payments such as overtime fell 7.9% to 16,987 yen.

According to the breakdown by industries, workers in the electricity and gas sectors received the highest average remuneration, at 585,439 yen per month (down 0.6% from the previous year). Coming in second were workers in the finance and insurance industry, at 467,081 yen per month (down 2.4% from the previous year). They were closely followed by workers in the telecommunications sector, who brought home an average of 460,793 yen per month (down 1.8% from the previous year).

The lowest average monthly wage was found amongst retail and wholesale workers, at 259,070 yen, down 3.8% from fiscal 2008. The largest drop, of 5.5%, was seen amongst workers in manufacturing, whose wages fell to 351,965 per month.