Real wages in Japan have fallen year over year for the 12th straight month, as rising consumer prices continued to eat into workers' earnings.
Preliminary figures from the labor ministry show that wages were down 2.9 percent in March from a year earlier after being adjusted for inflation.
Workers earned an average of 291,081 yen, or about 2,160 dollars, including overtime. That's up 0.8 percent in yen terms from the same time in 2022.
But the gains were canceled out by surging inflation.
Labor ministry officials say that real wages have continued to decline for a prolonged period of time.
They note that more major companies than usual raised wages in this year's pay negotiations. They say they will monitor the trend to see if it results in higher real wages.