Summer bonuses fall in Japan amid pandemic

Kyodo -- Jul 12
Nearly 30 percent of respondents in a private-sector survey said their summer bonuses fell from last year, indicating that more Japanese people are feeling the pinch of the coronavirus pandemic hurting corporate earnings.

The percentage of people reporting falling bonuses rose sharply last year to 30.1 percent and stayed at 27.6 percent this year, the online survey by Nippon Life Insurance Co. showed. The corresponding figure for 2019 before the pandemic was 14.3 percent.

Reflecting the severity of a hit to service providers, 38.5 percent of respondents in the transport and postal services sector said their bonuses decreased, followed by 35.5 percent in the sector offering entertainment and other services related to life events such as marriage. The manufacturing industry, which had the largest percentage of people experiencing bonus cuts, came in third at 33.7 percent.

Summer bonuses averaged 564,000 yen ($5,120), up from 554,000 yen a year ago. But the figure was still lower than an average 610,000 in 2019 before the pandemic, according to the survey covering 9,073 respondents between June 1 and 14. - Kyodo