Wages in Japan up for 1st time in 3 years in 2021

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Nominal wages in Japan in 2021 rose 0.3% from the previous year, marking the first increase in three years, the labor ministry said Tuesday.

The 2021 average of monthly wages stood at ¥319,528, the ministry said in a preliminary report.

Wages picked up thanks to growth in overtime after falling at their fastest pace in 11 years last year due to the spread of the novel coronavirus. But wages did not reach the 2019 level of ¥322,552 before the pandemic.

Price-adjusted real wages were flat from 2020.

Last year, regular pay rose 0.3%, and nonregular pay, including overtime, grew 3.8%.

In 2020, overtime plunged as many companies were forced to curb their operations in the first year of the coronavirus crisis.

The average of monthly work hours came to 136.1 hours last year, up for the first time in nine years.