New movements are spreading regarding wage increases. Against the backdrop of rising prices and labor shortages, some companies have raised the salaries of managers, managers, and other managers, or supported wage increases for their business partners.

We asked Tatsuhiko Nakashinobu, economist at Mizuho Research & Technologies, about these developments, which have not been seen much until now.

"Even if wages are raised for general jobs..."

New wage increases What are companies' thoughts?

Q.There have been a series of moves to raise wages for managers, but what are the circumstances on the company side?

A.In the future, the trend of population decline will accelerate further, and the sense of labor shortage will intensify not only among young people but also among middle-aged and elderly people with many managerial positions. Companies may be moving to raise wages in order to secure skilled managers.

Q.There is also a movement to abolish the retirement age system for job titles, which has been widely introduced among companies, but what is your view?

A.The so-called baby boomer juniors will reach retirement age in the future. Highly skilled people may leave the company. It can be said that companies have kept overall labor costs down by suppressing wages of this generation. I believe that raising the treatment of these people is also aimed at keeping them firmly connected and alleviating the labor shortage.

Q.In order to encourage wage increases for partner companies, some companies have started to add the wage increase to the procurement price, but what is your reaction?

A.In order to keep the wage increase rate high next year and the year after, it is very important to pass on price increases, which will be the source of wage increases. Since there are many small and medium-sized enterprises that have not made much progress in passing on prices, it is important to create an environment that allows them to firmly pass on prices, and I believe that such efforts are also important for strengthening relationships between companies and business partners and coexisting.

"Wage increases in a wide range of people create a virtuous cycle"

Q.What are your future challenges?

A.What attracts attention in the spring struggle is the workers who belong to labor unions, especially the younger ones. Considering wage increases for a wide range of people, including those in managers and non-regular employees who are not part of labor unions, will be the first step toward creating a virtuous cycle in which the economy grows, mainly through the expansion of personal consumption. A virtuous cycle will lead to wage increases next year and beyond.

In addition, in order to raise wages of small and medium-sized enterprises, it is necessary to expand labor productivity and, if it becomes severe, to change business models. If there is a movement to invest in people as a company toward this goal, I think the government needs to support it.