On July 7, Nikkeiren (the Japanese Federation of Employers' Association) released the results of a survey on summer-bonus negotiation settlements at 291 major companies in 22 industries. According to the survey, the average bonus totalled 737,363yen, down 0.92 percent, or 6,838yen, from the year before. The average summer bonus declined for the first time in six years since 1987 when the nation experienced a strong-yen slump. The decline in corporate profits brought on by the prolonged recession was the major culprit behind the cuts in bonuses. The recent rapid rise in the value of the yen against other currencies has also contributed.
By industry, firms in 13, or over a half of the 22 industries slashed summer bonuses for their employees to levels below these from last year. Workers in newspapers received the largest average bonus, of 1,354,157yen followed by 814,729yen for those in electric power and 780,000yen for those in information and communications. Meanwhile, workers in commerce and distribution and those in transportation received smaller bonuses of 569,084yen and 586,000yen, respectively. The bonus grew by 3.3 percent for electric power employees and 3.2 percent for private railway workers. The bonus decline was large at 6.93 percent for printing workers, 4.5 percent for machinery and metal company employees and 4.53 percent for telecommunications and home electric appliances personnel.
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