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National Tax Agency Announces Results of Private-Sector Wage Survey
On September 16 the National Tax Agency announced the results of its statistical survey of private-sector wages, which shows, among other things, the wage income of workers employed in private companies. The survey clarifies such things as the number of wage-earning workers, the total amount of wages paid to private-company workers, average wages by gender, the distribution of workers among wage groups, and average wages by industry.

Number of wage-earning workers
The number of wage-earning workers who had worked throughout the year was 45.52 million persons, an increase of 460,000 persons over the previous year. Of them, the number of female workers was 18.23 million persons, up 370,000 persons over the previous year.

Total wages paid to private-company workers
The total wages paid to private-company workers was 187.5455 trillion yen, an increase of 4.6710 trillion yen compared with the previous year.

Average wages by gender
By gender, the average annual wage was 5.07 million yen for men and 2.69 million yen for women.

Distribution of workers by wage group
By wage group, the highest number of workers (8.23 million persons) fell in the group receiving from 3 million yen to less than 4 million yen a year.

Average wages by industry
By industry, workers in the utility businesses (electricity, gas, heat supply, and water supply) received the highest average annual wage at 6.96 million yen.

The wage income of workers employed in private companies increased for the first time in three years, the overall average amounting to 4.12 million yen, up 60,000 yen over the previous year. Nevertheless, this average wage level remains at the 1989 level.

Main Results Relating to Income Earners Employed Throughout the Year

Item 2009 (a) 2010 (b) Increase
rate (%)
(b) - (a)
1 No. of income earners 45.06 million persons 45.52 million persons 1.0 460,000 persons
(Men: 27.19 million) (Men: 27.29million) (0.3) (90,000 persons)
(Women: 17.86 million) (Women: 18.23million) (2.1) (370,000 persons)
2 Total income paid 182.8745 trillion yen 187.5455 trillion yen 2.6 4.6710 trillion yen
3 Average income per person 4.06 million yen 4.12million yen 1.5 61,000 yen
(Men:5.00million yen) (Men:5.07million yen) (1.5) (770,000 yen)
(Women:2.63million yen) (Women:2.69million yen) (2.4) (620,000 yen)
Break down Wage allowance 3.50million yen 3.54million yen 1.2 420,000 yen
Bonus 560,000 yen 580,000 yen 3.6 200,000 yen
Revised Minimum Wages by Prefecture
The revised minimum wages by prefecture for fiscal 2011 (ending March 2012) were decided on September 13 following a report by the Minimum Wage Council.
The national average after the revision is 737 yen per hour, up 7 yen over the previous year. The hourly minimum wage had been increasing by 10 yen every year since fiscal 2007, but the hike is down to 7 yen for fiscal 2011.
The revised prefectural amounts range from 645 yen to 837 yen. In the areas hit worst by the Great East Japan Earthquake, the rates are 645 yen for Iwate Prefecture, 675 yen for Miyagi Prefecture, and 658 yen for Fukushima Prefecture-in all three cases, an increase of just 1 yen over the previous year.
Tokyo has the highest hourly minimum wage at 837 yen; Iwate, Kochi, and Okinawa Prefectures have the lowest at 645 yen.
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Releases Results
of Survey on Fixed-Term Employment
On September 14 the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare released the results of its fact-finding survey on fixed-term employment. The survey covered individual workers, annual income, and companies. Replies were received from 5,777 companies employing five or more workers and 5,415 fixed-term workers around the country. The last time this survey was conducted was in 2009.

Individual Survey
The main reasons for choosing fixed-term work were (1) the job content and responsibilities matched the individual's desires (44%), (2) the working hours matched the individual's desires (43.1%), and (3) there were no openings as a regular employee (30.2%).

Annual Income Survey
The ratio of fixed-term workers with an annual income of less than 2 million yen was 74.2%, a significant increase over the 57.3% in the 2009 survey.

Company Survey
Of the companies employing fixed-term workers, 79.7% replied that they would not be able to do business without them. The corresponding figure in 2009 was 53.8%, so this result shows that companies are becoming increasingly dependent on fixed-term workers.
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