Wages rebound in January for 1st time in 13 months

The regular monthly wage for workers in Japan eked out a 0.3 percent gain in January from a year earlier to an average 261,074 yen, bouncing back for the first time in 13 months amid pay raises in the welfare, medical and manufacturing sectors, which have relatively large workforces, the government said Tuesday.

The base wage inched up 0.3 percent to 242,642 yen, while overtime pay rose 1.2 percent to 18,432 yen, according to the monthly survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The overall monthly wage, including bonuses and other irregular pay, stayed the same at 273,318 yen, with irregular pay shrinking an average 5.3 percent, it said.

By industry, regular wages at manufacturers grew 1.1 percent to 294,428 yen, while those in the medical and welfare industries gained 1.7 percent to 251,367 yen.

Overtime working hours in the manufacturing sector, seen as a key indicator of overall economic conditions, increased 1.5 percent to 13.3 hours for the fifth straight monthly rise.