It was after 1997 that the average annual income of Japanese people began to decrease. With the bubble, the Japanese economy became one of the top in the world, and even though GDP (gross domestic product) per capita was 4th in the world as of 1997, the average annual income was 14th. The bigger problem is that Japanese salaries haven’t risen since then.Mr. Takuya Sakata explains in his book “The average annual salary of Japanese people is less than Korea’s shock” (Takarajimasha).
The average annual income of Japan, which was overtaken by South Korea
“NOW ★ HIRING” (recruiting now) ─.
A recruitment advertisement for mail collectors was posted in the town of Kentucky, known as the birthplace of Bourbon, in the central eastern United States. The hourly wage is $ 18.51 (2036 yen). Since similar jobs are being recruited in Japan for about 1000 yen per hour, wages in the United States will be twice as high as in Japan. What’s more, the ad wasn’t posted in a big city like New York, but in a town with relatively low wages in the country.
The average annual income of Japanese people peaked in 1997 when the financial crisis struck, and has been declining for more than 20 years. It is difficult to realize the decrease because prices have not risen, but the low salary of Japanese people stands out compared to other countries that have been rising year by year (hereinafter, the amount is converted to Japanese yen).
The average annual income ranking of the 35 major advanced countries in 1997 was 5.99 million yen for Switzerland, which was ranked first, 5.9 million yen for Luxembourg, which was ranked second, and 5.7 million yen for the Netherlands, which was ranked third. Following that, the United States, Belgium, Austria, Iceland, etc., followed by Japan, which ranked 14th at 4.22 million yen (OECD = Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, same below).
Japan at that time was after the burst of the bubble economy, but the average annual income began to decline after 1997. With the bubble, the Japanese economy became the world’s top class, and even though GDP (gross domestic product) per capita was 4th in the world as of 1997, the average annual income was settled at 14th. .. The bigger problem is that Japanese salaries haven’t risen since then.
Looking at the world average annual income ranking in 2020 and the rate of increase from 1997, the United States is ranked first at 7.63 million yen (38%), the second Iceland is 7.42 million yen (49%), and the third is Luxembourg. The average annual income is 7.24 million yen (23%), which is higher than in 1997. Switzerland (19%), the Netherlands (14%), Denmark (30%), Norway (56%), Canada (33%) and Australia (27%) follow only the 4th place and below.
On the other hand, the average annual income of Japanese people increased by only 0.3% from 1997 to 2020, and the ranking fell from 14th to 22nd, Sweden (49% increase rate) and New Zealand (34%). , Slovenia (53%), and South Korea (45%).
Looking at various international comparisons of wages, Japan is the only country with the highest rate of increase in the world. It is a salary increase based on “years of service”. Assuming that the average wage for 1 to 5 years of service in the manufacturing industry is 100, the average wage for 30 years or more of service is 100.2 to 110.5 in Northern Europe, with almost no salary increase. In Western countries, the “job type” in which salaries are paid according to the results of work has become established, and it can be seen that Northern Europe is thorough. In Europe, Italy is 128.3 and the United Kingdom is 132.2. Germany’s slightly higher price is 154.6, probably because the union is strong and demands a salary increase.
On the other hand, in Japan, after 30 years of service, it will rise to 186. Although the salary of Japanese people has not risen, the seniority-based wage system is maintained, and it can be seen that it is an extremely rare system in developed countries (Japan Institute for Labor Policy and Training “International Labor Comparison 2019”).
Below, I asked a journalist living in the United States about the situation in the United States.
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