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--Japan June Average Wages +3.6% Y/Y, 11th Straight Rise
--Japan June Real Average Wages +2.8% Y/Y; May +1.3%
--Japan June Base Wages +1.3% Y/Y, 15th Straight Rise
--Japan June Overtime Pay +3.5% Y/Y, 8th Straight Rise
--Japan June Bonuses, Other Special Pay +7.0% Y/Y, May +18.6%
--Japan Offl: Special Pay Could Fall in July, Lead To Total Wage Drop
     TOKYO (MNI) - The average wage growth in Japan jumped in June on early
summer bonus payments at some firms and a decline in the share of lowly paid
part-time workers, but the recent trend remains modest, preliminary data
released Tuesday by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare showed.
     The key points from the Monthly Labour Survey:
     * Total monthly average cash earnings per regular employee in Japan surged
3.6% on year to Y448,919, posting the 11th straight year-on-year rise, compared
to the recent median growth rate of +0.9%. It followed +2.1% in May and +0.6% in
     * "This is largely due to the increase in bonuses and other special pay,
which could show a year-on-year drop in July as seen in July last year (-3.1%)
and lead to a decline in total wages in July," a ministry official said. "Annual
wage hikes may be supporting the growth in base wages but the occasional page of
total wage growth is still dependent on special pay."
     * The ministry left its long-held assessment unchanged, saying wages have
been increasing "moderately." Companies are generally cautious about raising
base wages amid uncertainty over global and domestic economic growth. Some
sectors are raising wages to help alleviate serious labor shortages.
     * In real terms, average wages rose 2.8% on year in June after rising 1.3%
in May, posting the fourth year-on-year rise in the past 12 months. The recent
weak trend was caused by the rising cost of living. The total CPI minus imputed
rents rose 0.8% on year in June, with the pace of increase decelerating from a
peak of +1.8% in February as fresh food prices eased after a surge late last
     * Base wages, the key to a steady recovery in cash earnings, rose 1.3 % in
June from a year earlier, the 15th straight year-on-year rise after rising 1.3%
in May, which was the fastest pace of increase since June 1997.
     * Hourly base wages of regular employees working part time gained 1.8% on
year after +2.1% in the previous month while base wages for full-time workers
rose at a slower pace of 0.9% after rising 1.3%.
     * Overtime pay rose 3.5% on year in June, the eighth straight y/y rise
after rising 2.0% in May. Overtime working hours were unchanged on year after
+0.9% in May. Regular working hours fell 0.9% on year, the first y/y drop in two
months after +0.9% in the previous month.
     * Bonuses and other special pay gained 7.0% from a year before, marking the
10th year-on-year rise in the past 12 months after +18.2% in May. This category
tends to fluctuate widely.
--MNI Tokyo Bureau; tel: +81 90-4670-5309; email:
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