— Japan Nominal Avg Wage Revised From +1.5% Y/Y; Mar +1.0%
— Japan Apr Avg Base Wage Revised -0.2% Y/Y Vs Mar -0.2%
— Japan Apr Real Average Wage Rev +3.0% Y/Y; Mar +2.2%
— Japan Real Average Wage Posts 4th Straight Y/Y Rise
— Japan Apr Regular Employment Unrev +0.1% Y/Y, 3rd Rise In Row

TOKYO (MNI) – The average monthly total nominal cash earnings per
regular employee in Japan rose by a revised 1.6% (preliminary +1.5%)
year-over-year to Y276,319 in April, posting the second straight y/y
rise, data from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare released on
Wednesday showed.

This followed a 1.0% rise in March, which was the first y/y
increase in 22 months.

The latest data also showed other improvement in the wage
situation: overtime pay rose for the fourth month in a row, pushing up
overall compensation, although the “base wage” — the key indicator for
a recovery — still showed a slight drop from the year-earlier level.

Another indicator of a gradual improvement in the labor market was
the number of regular employees, which posted the third straight
year-on-year rise in April after showing the first gain in 10 months in

Average “base” salaries, or scheduled cash earnings, at surveyed
companies that employ five or more people fell an upwardly revised 0.2%
y/y in April (preliminary -0.4%) after falling 0.2% in March. It marked
the 21st straight y/y drop, but the pace of decline has decelerated

Overtime pay in April surged a revised 12.4% (preliminary +11.3%)
year-on-year after +12.8% in March, aided by a jump in overtime hours
worked at factories (payback for the plunge in early 2009). January’s
2.4% gain in overtime pay was the first y/y gain in 18 months.

Overtime hours worked and overtime pay hit bottom in March last
year, which means they will show year-on-year growth for the next
several months.

In inflation adjusted terms, the average total wage rose a revised
3.0% (preliminary +2.8%) y/y in April after rising 2.2% in March.

This was the fourth straight y/y gain, with real wages improving
gradually from the record drop of 5.2% posted in June last year.

Overtime hours worked in the manufacturing sector posted the fifth
straight year-on-year rise in April, surging by an unrevised 53.4 after
posting a record growth of 57.3% in the previous month. Overtime hours
have recovered steadily from the record drop of 48.9% in March 2009.

But with the pace of gains slowing, overtime hours worked at
factories fell an unrevised 0.6% month-on-month on a seasonally adjusted
basis after rising 1.6% in March, which was 12th straight m/m gain.

Overtime hours have been recovering fast since October 2009, led by
the automobile and electronics sectors. This has pushed up the level of
overtime pay.

Total overtime hours worked for all industries rose a revised 11.9%
(preliminary +10.8%) y/y in April following a record gain of +14.5%
marked in the previous month. January’s +4.4% was the first year-on-year
rise in 18 months.

Total hours worked for all industries continued to rise in April,
up by an unrevised 1.6% after rising 3.3% in March. The 0.4% rise in
January this year was the first y/y gain in 18 months.

Three years of steady job creation until April 2009 were replaced
by job losses or flat employment levels through the end of last year,
but the latest data indicate a recovery in the labor market.

The number of regular workers rose by an unrevised 0.1% y/y in
April, posting the third straight year-on-year increase after rising
0.2% in March. The gain in February was the first y/y gain in 10 months
since +0.3% in April 2009.

Cash earnings include overtime and bonuses. Regular employees are
workers on permanent payrolls as well as those with part-time status.

Bonus and other special cash earnings, which tend to fluctuate
sharply, jumped a revised 46.1% (preliminary +50.0%) y/y in April vs.
+11.6% in March.

** Market News International Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4437 **

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