Year-end bonuses down 9.3% on year

Average year-end bonuses paid to workers at businesses with at least five employees declined last year by a record 9.3 percent from the previous year to less than 400,000 yen, the labor ministry said Wednesday.

The average year-end bonus stood at 380,258 yen, marking the first time it has fallen under 400,000 yen since the survey was first taken in its current format in 1990.

“Businesses whose earnings have deteriorated amid the economic slowdown in the aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers are reducing their bonus payments to workers,” a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry official said.

Workers in the manufacturing industry received an average 437,406 yen year-end bonus, down 14.8 percent from the previous year; service sector workers took home an average 315,877 yen, down 12.8 percent; and wholesale and retail sector workers got 277,112 yen, a reduction of 11 percent.

The nationwide survey was taken at about 33,000 business establishments.