The starting salaries of male engineering students who graduated in March 1991 broke the 180,000 Yen mark for the first time, according to a Basic Survey on Wage Structure (preliminary release) published on November 28 by the Ministry of Labour. Reflecting a labor shortage stemming from the nation's economic boom, individual businesses increased their starting wages to attract prospective employees. They increased by a monthly average of 10,000 Yen over the year before for new employees with college and high school diplomas. What is particularly notable is that the rate growth in starting pay at smaller-scale firms was higher than the year before, thus narrowing the imbalance between firms in starting wages for male and female graduates in all education categories.
The preliminary report is based on survey results on initial wages for first-year employees of about 19,000 private companies that employ 10 or more regular workers. Starting wages include basic pay as well as family maintenance and other allowances except for commutation allowances. Male college graduates started at 179,400 Yen. Engineering graduates, in particular, received an average starting pay of 181,700 Yen, up 10,200Yen from a year earlier. Thus the starting pay of male engineering graduates broke the level of 180,000 Yen for the first time. Female college graduates received starting wages averaged 172,300 Yen, but those in the engineering field started at 176,300 Yen, or 4,000 Yen more than those in the general job field.
By company size, at large firms with 1,000 and more regular employees the starting pay of male college graduates was 181,300 Yen, while at small-and medium-sized firms with 100-999 regular employees the average 170,000 Yen. At firms of all sizes, males with technical and junior college education started at 150,000 Yen, while those with high school education started at around 140,000 Yen. On the other hand, female college graduates started at the 170,000 Yen level at large and medium-sized firms and ao the 130,000 Yen level at small-sized firms.
Smaller-scale firms increased year-on-year growth in starting wages for both male and female graduates in all education categories, suggesting that the gap in pay between the firms tended to narrow.
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