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Companies in Japan giving record pay raises in 2023

TOKYO (XINHUA) – Companies in Japan have raised or plan to raise the average monthly pay per employee by a record 3.2 per cent, or JPY9,437 (USD64), in 2023, an annual government survey has shown.

The hike, which followed the previous year’s increase of 1.9 per cent, or JPY5,534 (USD38), was the biggest since comparative figures began in 1999, according to the survey by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on Tuesday.

The ministry conducted the survey from July 20 through August 10 on companies with 100 or more employees, receiving valid responses from 1,901 companies. The percentage of companies that already raised average regular wages or plan to do so this year reached 89.1 per cent, the highest since 2019, the results showed.

The construction sector led the way, followed by manufacturing, while the transportation and postal industries had the smallest number of companies raising pay, followed by the accommodation and restaurant sectors, according to the survey.

High prices and labour shortages led more companies to raise wages, a ministry official said.

A woman cycles past a petrol station showing fuel prices along a street in Tokyo, Japan. PHOTO: AFP