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Japan Aug Wages Rebound on Bonuses, Overtime; Slow Rise Intact

--Japan Aug Avg Wages +0.9% Y/Y, 1st Rise in 2 Months
--Japan Aug Real Avg Wages +0.1% Y/Y, 1st Rise in 8 Months
--Japan Aug Base Wages +0.4% Y/Y, 5th Straight Rise
--Japan Aug Overtime Pay +1.5% Y/Y, 2nd Straight Rise
--Japan Aug Special Pay +6.1% Y/Y, 1st Rise in 2 Months
     TOKYO (MNI) - Preliminary average wage data from the Monthly Labour Survey
released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on Friday.
     * Total monthly average cash earnings per regular employee in Japan rose
0.9% on year to Y274,490 in August, posting the first year-on-year rise in two
months after falling 0.6% in July, led by a rise in summer bonuses after a sharp
drop in July and a large gain in overtime pay.
     * In real terms, average wages edged up 0.1% on year, the first rise in
eight months after falling 1.1% in the previous month. The weak trend was caused
by the recent rise in the cost of living, with the total CPI minus imputed rents
up 0.8% on year in August, amid slow base wage hikes.
     * Base wages, the key to a recovery in cash earnings, rose 0.4% in August
from a year earlier, the fifth consecutive year-on-year rise, but the pace of
increase slowed from the recent high of +0.7% in May. Hourly base wages of
regular employees working part time gained 2.0% on year after +2.5% in the
previous month while base wages for full-time workers rose a modest 0.4% on year
after rising at the same pace in the previous month.
     * Overtime pay rose 1.5% on year in August in reaction to the sharp 1.9%
drop a year before. it was the second straight year-on-year increase after
rising 0.2% in July. Overtime working hours rose 0.6% on year for the eighth
straight rise after +0.6% in July while regular working hours fell 0.9% on year,
the second straight year-on-year drop after falling 0.6% in the previous month.
     * Bonuses and other special pay rose 6.1% from a year before in August
after falling 3.1% in July and rising 0.4% in June. In final figures, summer
bonuses, which are paid between June and August, are expected to show a
year-on-year drop.
     * Japanese policymakers have been urging firms to share more profits with
workers but firms remain cautious about raising base wages amid uncertainty over
the outlook for global and domestic demand.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email: max.sato@marketnews.com
[TOPICS: MAJDS$,M$A$$$,M$J$$$,MT$$$$]

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