Winter bonuses at Japanese companies saw their biggest increase in 40 years

The average winter bonus at big Japanese companies marked the strongest rise of 8.92 percent from a year earlier to 894,179 yen since the current calculation method was adopted in 1981, it said on Thursday the most powerful business lobby in the country.

The Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, said the average winter bonus was the third highest, reflecting the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, but fell short of the level of the year before the pandemic in 2019 .

Of the 18 industries in the survey covering 162 large companies, average bonuses increased in 16 sectors this winter.

The average winter bonus in the non-manufacturing sector rose 16.86 percent from last year to 832,082 yen, more than the 7.29 percent rise to 915,724 yen among manufacturers.

Steelmakers saw the biggest rise, with winter bonuses up 87.23 percent to 1,017,895 yen. The increase was due to cost reductions, such as closing steel mills and shutting down blast furnaces, and increased demand for steel as the economy began to recover- yes

As people have returned to the streets after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions, bonuses in the commercial sector, including department stores and other retailers, rose 27.18 percent, while the rail sector increased 25.98 percent, according to Keidanren.

On the other hand, pulp and paper makers as well as electric power companies saw a decline, the business lobby said.

“The rate of increase certainly shows that the bonus is recovering towards pre-pandemic levels,” said a Keidanren official.

After the increase in the average summer bonus this year, “the momentum for the wage increase continues,” the official added.


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