Real wages in Japan declined for the second straight year in 2023 and it looks like inflation is getting the blame.
Japanese workers did see an increase in pay in the year, but it wasn't enough to keep up with higher prices driven by fast-paced inflation.
A salary survey by the labor ministry in 2023 shows employees received an average monthly wage of 329,859 yen, or about 2,200 dollars.
That's an increase of 1.2 percent in yen terms from 2022 and the third straight annual gain.
But it wasn't enough to match the inflation rate of 3.8 percent, which was the fastest pace in 42 years.
Average real wages per worker fell 2.5 percent from a year earlier.
Ministry officials say pay hikes have trailed the surge in prices.
That's even as Spring wage negotiations last year resulted in the biggest increase in 30 years and a labor shortage also helped push up salaries.