May 10th,2019

Japan Wage and Hours Worked

April data confirms wages in Japan are on the rise

Published monthly by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Updated to the month of March 2019 (published on May 8th, 2019).
Part-time hourly wage for April 2019 was published by Recruit Jobs Co., Ltd on May 15, 2019. Temp hourly wage for March 2019 was published on April 19, 2019.

Recent data trend

The April wage report was consistent with our view that wages in Japan are finally on the rise. The preliminary estimate for the month showed that regular wages in Japan rose by 1.2% year on year (YoY) in April, continuing to rise at the highest rate of increase since July 1997. There have been a few false dawns for wage inflation, but the current upturn seems to be the real one, in our view. Despite the relentless tightening in the labor market in the last few years, wage inflation has remai...

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Brief overview of “Wage and Hours worked”

The official name of the statistics is “Monthly Labor Survey”, but we prefer to call it “Wage and Hours worked” to distinguish the survey from “Labor Force Survey” which is the source of the official unemployment rate in Japan. “Wage and Hours worked” surveys enterprises with a workforce larger or equal to 5 persons. It also does not include government and municipal officials. For example, in 2012, “Wage and Hours worked” survey covered 45.8 million workers in Japan, while “Labor Force Survey” covered 62.7 million workers. YoY% wage growth rate shows irregularity, as the months of bi-annual bonus payment day shift between months depending on the year. 3 or 6-month average YoY% is often used to overcome this problem. Wages in Japan has been steadily falling in Japan since 1998. Between 1997 and 2012, wages have declined by 12.5%, or by 0.9% per year on average.In 2019, the Japanse government announced that there was a serious flaw to the way wage data were surveyed in Tokyo and released revised data going back to 2012. Revision to data beyond 2012 is yet to be released as of March 2019.

For more information, visit the official government page.

"Part-time hourly wage", "Temp hourly wage" are statistics published by JOBS Research Center (JBRC), a research centre established within Recruit Jobs Co., Ltd. As of July 17, 2015, the original publication is published only in Japanese. Below is a link to their website (available just in Japanese).

Wage levels of Full-time and Part-time workers

The Next Release Date: May 24th, 2019 (Final March data)

                                           June 7th, 2019 (Provisional April data)






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