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Economic and Labour Situation in Japan (December 2013)

RENGO Decides Wage Demand Guidelines for 2014 Spring Struggle
RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation) held a central committee meeting on December 3 at which it decided wage demand guidelines for the 2014 spring struggle of 3% to more than 4%, consisting of a regular wage increase to maintain the wage curve of about 2%, a basic wage hike (the so-called base-up) of more than 1%, and a raise to correct disparities of around 1%. RENGO President Nobuaki Koga emphasized, "Since prices are expected to rise, Japanese society will be hit badly without any wage increase."

Industrial Production
Industrial production continues to show an upward movement. In October industrial production increased by 0.5% over the previous month, registering a rise for the second consecutive month and up 4.7% year-on-year. The index in October was 98.8 (seasonally adjusted).
Industries that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) general-purpose and business- oriented machinery, (2) electrical machinery, and (3) plastic products, in that order.
Commodities that mainly contributed to the increase were as follows: (1) semiconductor products machinery, (2) cell phones, and (3) separate-type air conditioners, in that order.
According to the Survey of Production Forecast in Manufacturing, production was expected to increase by 0.9% in November and 2.1% in December.

Family Income and Expenditure Survey in October
(1) Expenditure for Two-or-More-Person Households
The average monthly consumption expenditure per two-or-more-person household in October was \290,676, up 2.3% in nominal terms and up 0.9% in real terms year-on-year.

(2) Income and Expenditure for Workers' Households
The average monthly income per household stood at \482,684, up 0.1% in nominal terms and down 1.3% in real terms year-on-year.
The average consumption expenditure was \316,555, up 0.4% in nominal terms and down 1.0% in real terms year-on-year.

Labour Force Survey Monthly Results
(1) Employment
The number of employed persons in October was 63.66 million, an increase of 450,000, or 0.7%, over the same month in the previous year.

(2) Unemployment
The number of unemployed persons in October was 2.63 million, a decrease of 80,000, or 3.0%, from the same month in the previous year.
The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.0%, the same level as in the previous month.

(10,000 persons)
  October figures Change from previous year
Population aged 15 years or over 11,091 -8 -0.1
Labour force 6,629 37 0.6
Employed persons 6,366 45 0.7
Employees 5,596 50 0.9
Unemployed persons 263 -8 -3.0
Not in labour force 4,458 -46 -1.0
Labour force participation rate (%) 59.8 0.4 -
Employment rate (%) 57.4 0.4 -
Unemployment rate, original series (%) 4.0 -0.1 -
  Current month Change from previous month
Unemployment rate, seasonally adjusted (%) 4.0 -0.0 -

According to a separate report released by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, job availability in October improved 0.03 points over the previous month, with the ratio of job offers to jobseekers standing at 0.98. This figure means that there were 98 jobs available for every 100 jobseekers.

Consumer Prices
The consumer price index in October was 100.7 (2010 = 100), up 0.2% over the previous month and up 0.9% over the same month of the previous year.

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