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"Private-sector average salary declined consecutively in two years"
Outline of the fact-finding statistics survey on private-sector salary, Sep. 2013

The National Tax Agency recently released the results of fact-finding statistics survey on private-sector salary in 2012, which revealed that the average salary of full-time and part-time workers in private sector for the year had declined consecutively in two years.

The survey, which separated regular and non-regular workers such as part-time workers, was conducted for the first time, and the results clearly showed that there was a gap between regular and non-regular workers. The characteristics of the survey results are as follows:

  • Average annual income: 4.08 million yen, down 0.2% year-on-year
    The number of salaried workers employed throughout the year was 45.56 million (a year-on-year decrease of 0.2%, or 100,000 persons), and the average annual salary was 4.08 million yen (a year-on-year decrease of 0.2%, or 10,000 yen). With the exception of 2007 and 2010, the average salary has been on a downward trend since 1998. The figure in 2012 represents a drop of 12.6%, since the average salary in 1997 was 4.67 million yen,
    By gender, the average salary in 2012 was 5.02 million yen for male (down 0.4%, or 20,000 yen) and 2.68 million yen for female (the same level as in the previous year).
  • Average annual salary: 4.68 million yen for regular workers, 1.68 million yen for non-regular workers
    By employment status (whether they are regular or non-regular), the number of regular salaried workers employed throughout the year was 30.12 million (20.81 million male, 9.31 million female) and non-regular salaried workers 9.88 million (2.94 million male, 6.94 million female). Though the ratio of nonregular workers, 24.7%, is lower than one-third, which has been usually cited so far, this is because the survey targeted the workers who had been employed throughout the year. Many non-regular workers have employment contracts of less than one year, such as two or three months.
    By employment status, the average salary was 4.68 million yen for regular workers and 1.68 million yen for non-regular workers. By gender, the average salary of non-regular workers was 2.26 million yen for male and 1.44 million yen for female. Although an accurate comparison cannot be made, since factors such as age, number of years of employment, and job content have to be taken into consideration,nevertheless a simple calculation shows that the annual income of non-regular workers is just around 36% of regular employees.
  • Young people's marriage - threshold on the annual salary of 3 million yen
    (from the 2013 White Paper on Health, Labour, and Welfare)
    While Japan is experiencing low birthrate and aging society, the number of young people who don't get married is increasing, which may leads to further low birthrate. Although most of young people say that they intend to get married someday, in reality the unmarried ratio is rising year by year.
    As background factors, it can be viewed the increase of non-regular workers and their low wages are giving a big impact to the situation. Non-regular employment of young people is increasing for both male and female; in the group of 25-34 years of age, 15.3% of male and 40.9% of female are non-regular workers. Furthermore, being asked whether there would be any obstacles if they get married within a year, about 70% of both male and female said that there would be obstacles. Moreover, the most common obstacle, cited by more than 40% of both male and female, is lack of "marriage funds" (to pay for the wedding ceremony and prepare for a new life), which is much higher in ratio than other obstacles. In addition, among the group of 20-30 years of age, the married ratio is less than 10% among those whose annual income is less than 3 million yen, and over 25% among those whose annual income is more than 3 million yen but less than 4 million yen, and this suggests that an annual income of 3 million yen be a major threshold.

Source: National Tax Agency

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