— Japan May Average Base Wages +0.4% Y/Y, 1st Rise In 2 Months
— Japan May Overtime Pay +6.4% Y/Y, 8th Straight Gain
— Japan May Bonuses, Other Special Pay -39.9%, 1st Fall In 3 Months

TOKYO (MNI) – The total average monthly cash earnings per regular
employee in Japan posted the first drop in four months in May, down 0.8%
at Y268,301, after rising 0.2% in April and 0.9% in March, preliminary
data from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released Tuesday

The decrease was caused by a 39.9% year-over-year plunge in bonuses
and other one-off pay, which surged 60.6% in May 2011 and pushed up
average wages by 0.9% at the time. The decline in special earnings was
the first in three months following +2.1% in April.

Other categories showed solid gains.

Average “base wages” — the key indicator for a recovery in
employee earnings — rose 0.4% on year in May, posting the first rise in
two months after -0.2% in April and +0.4% in March.

Overtime pay posted an eighth straight y/y gain, up 6.4% in May,
after +5.7% in April.

But a ministry official reminded that the recent improvement in
wages data may not fully reflect the reality of slow job creation. The
rises in April and March were a rebound from a slump caused by aftermath
of the March 2011 earthquake disaster.

Meanwhile, overtime hours worked in the manufacturing sector rose
12.8% in May, posting the 12th consecutive year-on-year gain after
+16.8% in April.

Compared to the previous month, overtime hours worked at
manufacturers fell 3.1% on a seasonally adjusted basis, marking the
third month-on-month drop after -0.3% in April.

Total overtime hours worked for all industries rose 4.5% on year in
May, showing gains for nine months in a row after +5.3% in April.

Total hours worked rose 3.2% y/y in May, posting the first rise in
two months after being unchanged in April and rising 1.4% in March.

The number of regular workers rose 0.8% y/y in May after +0.7% in
April, maintaining year-over-year growth for about six years since March

Regular employees are workers on permanent payrolls as well as
those with part-time status.

** MNI Tokyo Newsroom: 81-3-5403-4437 **

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