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How Much do You Make?

Monday, January 15, 2007 Posted: 04:25 PM JST

In December 2006, Nippon Keidanren (the Japan Business Federation) published the results of a survey on regular wages in June 2006, showing wage levels of "standard" employed workers who joined their companies immediately after graduation from school and have stayed with the same companies since.

The survey targeted 2,031 companies belonging to the Japan Business Federation and Tokyo Keieisha Kyokai (the Tokyo Employers' Association), with effective returns totaling 375 (effective rate: 18.5%), and vividly illustrates the wage levels of "salaried workers" in Japan's leading companies.

According to the survey, the standard wage levels for male college/university graduates were 207,592 yen at age 22; 237,965 yen at age 25; 318,565 yen at age 30; 389,258 yen at age 35; 545,186 yen at age 45; and 629,152 yen at age 55. Those for male high-school graduates were 191,376 yen at age 22; 213,447 yen at age 25; 318,565 yen at age 30; 332,507 yen at age 35; 440,90 yen at age 45; and 509,27 yen at age 55. Wages for female workers and production workers with only a high school education were below those levels.

Regarding age comparisons of wages paid for scheduled working hours of workers in managerial posts, office workers, and engineers (college/university graduates), if the wage level for workers aged 22 is set at 100, the survey found that the wage level was 153 for workers aged 30; 188 for those aged 35; 263 for those aged 45; and 303 for those aged 55, showing an obvious tendency to follow the seniority wage profile.

As for comparisons of wages in companies of different sizes, the difference between maximum and minimum wages at each age point surveyed was negligible at age 22, but increased as workers got older: 29,629 yen at age 30; 94,843 yen at age 40; 107,151 yen at age 50; and
900,297 yen at age 55. Meanwhile, the wage levels of workers were found to be higher at firms with 3,000 or more employees in general.

Wage levels of employees in managerial posts were as follows: 653,911 yen for department directors (bucho); 557,793 yen for deputy department directors (bujicho); 506,256 yen for section managers (kacho); and 380,392 yen for assistant managers (kakari-cho). If the wage level of department directors is set at 100, the wage level of department directors also serving as board directors is 120.3; that of deputy department directors 85.9; that of section managers 77.4; and that of assistant managers 58.2. The average ages of employees in managerial posts were 55.6 for department directors (also serving as board directors); 51.4 for department directors; 49.2 for deputy department directors; 45.7 for section managers; and 41.8 for assistant managers.

Although the overall wage level itself was higher than that of the previous year, 2005, the general trend in wage structures seems to remain unchanged.

Keywords: national_news

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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