Survey of Corporate Attitude towards Wage Trends for 2018

Employees' salaries and bonuses in 2018 are estimated to increase by approximately 3.7 trillion yen

— Record high 56.5% of companies anticipate wage improvement —

- Introduction
The economy in 2017 basically continued to grow, with over 20% of companies saying the economy in 2017 was in a “revival phase” for the first time in four years, and those who said “downturn phase” dropped to the single-digit level ("Survey of Corporate Attitudes towards Economic Outlook for 2018"). Attention has focused on the trends for wage improvement, such as tax reform set forth by the government, including tax incentives for companies that have increased pay, as elements that determine the success or failure of Abenomics.

Under such circumstances, Teikoku Databank has conducted a survey on corporate attitudes towards wage trends for 2018. This survey was conducted in conjunction with the January 2018 TDB Trends Research.
*Survey period: January 18 - January 31, 2018; Companies Surveyed: 23,089; Valid Responses: 10,161 (Response Rate: 44.0%) The survey on wages has been conducted in January every year since January 2006, and this is the 13th survey.
*Details of this survey can be found on the dedicated Economic Trend Survey HP. (http://www.tdb-di.com/)
*Wage improvement means improvement (increase) in wages by across-the-board pay and bonus pay (lump-sum pay) increases, and does not include annual pay raises.

Primary points of survey results(summary)

  • Companies anticipating wage “improvement” reached a record high at 56.5%, which exceeded that in the previous survey (Anticipation for 2017, conducted in January 2017) by 5.3 points. Companies anticipating no wage improvement remained at 18.4%. Wage improvement is basically in an improving trend.

  • With respect to the details of wage improvement, across-the-board pay and bonus pay (lump-sum pay) marked a record high, at 45.4% (an increase of 5.1 points y-o-y), and 31.8% (an increase of 3.0 points y-o-y), respectively.

  • With respect to the reasons for wage improvement, the percentage citing “stability of and securing the workforce” reached 79.7%, or almost 80%, and increased for four consecutive years. The trend to increase wages for stability and to secure the workforce has strengthened. “Business expansion of one’s own company” (47%) has increased for the first time in five years, and the top five reasons exceeded their last year's levels. With respect to the reasons for no wage improvement, “poor business performance of one’s own company” (55.6%) fell to the 50% level for the first time in four years. While “increase of human investment” remained flat (20.2%), “enhancement of internal reserves” (17.9%) increased for three consecutive years.

  • Total personnel expenses for 2018 are expected to increase by an average of 2.84%. Among these, the total of employees' salaries and bonuses is estimated to increase by approximately 3.7 trillion yen (an average of 2.65%).