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TOKYO (MNI)

Average Japanese wages declined for the eighth straight month in November as working hours decreased amid the pandemic although base wages rose and the government held back its monthly assessment.

Average wages fell 2.2% y/y in November following a 0.7% decline in October. Real wages also remained in negative territory, preliminary data released Thursday by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed.

The monthly average cash earnings per regular employee fell 2.2% y/y to JPY279,095 in November. In real terms, average wages fell 1.1% y/y in November, the ninth straight drop. Total CPI, minus imputed rents, declined 1.1% y/y in the month.

The government didn't offer a monthly assessment, maintaining the view that wages fell as working hours decreased due to the coronavirus.

OVERTIME PAY

Base wages, the key to a steady recovery in cash earnings, rose 0.1% y/y for the third straight rise.

Overtime pay plunged 10.3% in the month, an improvement from the 12.0% fall in October, as activity in services businesses was limited by the pandemic.

Bonuses and other special pay fell 23.5% y/y in November for the seventh straight drop.