Year-end bonuses make sharpest drop ever

The average year-end bonus at major Japanese companies this year plunged by 15.01 percent to 755,628 yen, the sharpest year-on-year drop since the records began in 1959, the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) has announced.

It is also the first double digit decline for winter bonuses, with the figure standing at the lowest level since 1990, when the average amount was 748,872 yen.

The average payment in the manufacturing industry dropped by 18.46 percent to 728,589 yen, while it declined by 4.77 percent to 834,020 yen for non-manufacturing companies, with both recording their worst slide ever.

Above all, export-oriented businesses were hit hard by the global recession, with the decline standing at 22.81 percent for automakers, 22.14 percent for non-ferrous metal manufacturers, and 21.29 percent for the textile industry. The only exception was the food industry, which marked a slight increase of 0.51 percent.

The survey was conducted on 253 companies with 500 or more employees listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The data was collected from 164 corporations that provided the amount of winter bonuses settled after labor-management negotiations.