Japan Oct overtime pay falls 2.3 pct yr/yr

Mon Dec 3, 2012 8:30pm EST

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TOKYO, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Japanese wage earners' overtime pay
fell in October from a year earlier at the fastest pace since
the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster,
government data showed on Tuesday, in a worrying sign that lower
wages could hurt consumption. 
    Overtime pay, a barometer of strength in corporate activity,
fell 2.3 percent in October from a year earlier as companies
reduced the number of hours employees can work overtime, the
labour ministry said.
    That was the fastest pace of decline since an annual 2.4
percent decline in May 2011, two months after a record
earthquake ravaged the country's northeast coast.
    Wage earners' overall cash earnings rose 0.2 percent in
October from the same period a year earlier, the data also
showed.
    Japan's export-reliant economy is probably in recession,
stemming from faltering global demand and a diplomatic row with
China, but a recovery is likely in the first quarter of next
year, a Reuters poll in mid-November showed. 
    The following table shows preliminary data for monthly
incomes and numbers of workers in Oct: 
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                          OCT          OCT          SEPT
 Payments (yen)                      yr/yr change   (pct)
 Total cash earnings   268,451 yen      +0.2         -0.5*
 Monthly wage          263,051 yen      +0.3         -0.4*
 -Regular pay          244,591 yen      +0.5         -0.4*
 -Overtime pay          18,460 yen      -2.3         +0.1*
 -Special payments       5,400 yen      +2.2         +1.6*
----------------------------------------------------------------
 Number of workers (million)
 Overall                45.893 mln      +0.7         +0.6
 -general employees     32.800 mln      +0.5         -0.3*
 -part-time employees   13.093 mln      +1.2         +2.6*
----------------------------------------------------------------
  *denotes a revision from preliminary data.
    The ministry defines "workers" as 1) those who are employed
for more than one month at a firm that employs more than five
people, or 2) those who are employed on a daily basis or have
less than a one-month contract but had worked more than 18 days
during the two months before the survey was conducted at a firm
that employs more than five people.
    To view the full tables, see the labour ministry's website
at:
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