Raw Japan

Slices of Japanese business, politics and life

Give me my allowance back!

March 4, 2010

Kids these days can’t get a break. They cop flak from the older generation for their manners, the way they dress, and having it too easy compared with in the good old days.

And now their pocket money has taken a hit.

JAPAN

High school students in Japan saw their allowances fall 11 percent last year to an average 6,045 yen ($68) a month — the lowest since 1990 — according to a recent survey by the Central Council for Financial Services Information.

The drop came as overall cash earnings in the country fell every month in 2009, indicating parents were skimping on their children’s allowances as the fragile economy hurt their own paycheques.

That bodes ill for the service industry, which is already plagued by a shrinking population and deflation, and which needs teens to spend on clothing, food and entertainment.

Still, the latest wage data have offered a glimmer of hope: incomes edged up in January for the first rise in two years, suggesting kids could be living large again if moms and dads start opening their wallets.

Of course, I know what my dad would say, just as he told me when I was a teenager: You’re too old for an allowance, get a job!

Photo credit: REUTERS/Eriko Sugita

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