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Labor crunch sends Japan restaurant pay to record high

With nightlife back on, the scramble for kitchen staff and servers heats up

A Vietnamese trainee works at a Tokyo restaurant. Japan's eased entry restrictions are expected to take several months to benefit the labor market. (Photo by Mizuho Miyazaki)

TOKYO -- Japan's economic reopening has driven restaurants offering new part-time hires the most generous wages on record, as the latest industry figures show.

Part-time food service workers in the Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas earned an average of 1,050 yen ($9.21) an hour in October, staffing group Recruit Holdings reported Monday. The number is up 2.4% from a year earlier, besting the pre-COVID high recorded in November 2019.

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