Wage Increases in Japan Exceed 5 Percent for the First Time Since 1991

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Wage Increases in Japan Exceed 5 Percent for the First Time Since 1991

The Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions recently displayed the offers made by various industries during the "shunto" spring labor offensive, showcasing the negotiations between steelmakers, heavy machinery producers, and other companies. Keidanren, the nation's largest business group, unveiled the initial results of the annual spring wage talks, revealing a substantial 5.58% rate of wage increases among major corporations, a significant jump from the previous year's 3.99%.

Data from 89 companies across 16 industries that had reported to Keidanren by a specific date was compiled to determine the average monthly wage increase, which stood at 19,480 yen ($125), the highest since 1976. Keidanren's goal during this year's shunto negotiations was to achieve a minimum 4% wage hike at large companies, emphasizing the need for higher wages compared to the previous year to combat deflation through a positive correlation between wages and prices.

While Keidanren aimed for a 4% increase, Rengo, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, set a target of "5% or more" for the wage negotiations. The business federation deemed Rengo's target as "worthy of consideration and evaluation by labor and management," reflecting the complexity and importance of the ongoing discussions between employers and employees to ensure fair compensation and economic stability in Japan.