Inflation-adjusted Real Wage Index Falls for 26th Straight Month in May

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry in Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The inflation-adjusted real wage index declined 1.4% from a year before in May, extending its record declining streak to a 26th month, the labor ministry said Monday.

The pace of fall accelerated from April’s 1.2%, with wage growth still unable to outpace inflation.

Nominal wages per worker, which include regular and nonregular pay, averaged ¥297,151 in May, up 1.9%. Of the total, regular pay, including base salary, grew 2.5%, the steepest increase in 31 years, thanks mainly to wage hikes agreed on in this year’s “shunto” labor-management negotiations in spring.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index excluding imputed rent, used to calculate the real wage index, was up 3.3%, bigger than the 2.9% rise.

The average nominal wage rose 2.1% to ¥378,803  for full-time workers, and 3.2% to ¥108,511  for part-timers.

Work hours per person increased 1.2% to 137.1 hours on average among all workers. Regular work hours rose 1.3%, while overtime fell 1.0%.