Japanese Corporate Labor Costs Down

Labor costs excluding executive remuneration and retirement-related expenses in Japan in 2008 fell 0.9 percent, with a 4.8 percent drop in the manufacturing sector.

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Labor costs excluding executive remuneration and retirement-related expenses at about 3,200 companies in Japan in 2008 decreased 0.9 percent from the previous year to 13.50 trillion yen in total, a private credit research agency survey said Thursday.

The fall represented a reversal from a 12.3 percent increase in 2007 as firms cut costs due to deteriorating business performance amid the economic downturn, according to the survey by Teikoku Databank.

Personnel costs per employee stood at 3,802,000 yen, down 3.6 percent, the survey said.

By industry, labor costs rose 6.2 percent to 2,032,000 yen per person for the transportation industry, while they fell 9.6 percent to 3,261,000 yen for the construction industry and dropped 4.8 percent to 2,637,000 yen for the manufacturing industry.

Combined with retirement-related allowances and other expenses, personnel costs totaled 15.17 trillion yen in 2008, up 2.1 percent.

A Teikoku Databank official said retirement-related expenses increased for mandatory retirement and restructuring of baby-boomer workers.

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