Japan Sees Highest Spring Wage Hikes in 31 Years

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Keidanren building

An average wage increase of 3.99% was recorded during this springs’ labor negotiations, the highest level in 31 years, according to figures released by the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) on Friday.

The increase, up by 1.72 percentage points from the previous year, is the highest since wages saw an average increase of 4.92% that was agreed in 1992.

The data came from 136 major companies that have 500 or more employees. The average agreed wage hike, which combines both basic pay and annual wage hikes, totaled ¥13,362, an increase of ¥5,800. The year-on-year increase is the highest since 1976, when the current method on collecting data began.

Since the start of the government-driven labor offensive in 2014, the level of wage increases has stayed around 2% every year except for 2021. In 2022, the level reached 2.27%.

Out of 16 industries, only the steel industry saw lower wages than the year before.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
An official of the Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions writes down responses from employers of member unions on a whiteboard during the spring labor-management negotiations this year.