Bonuses at major Japanese companies this summer averaged ¥845,557, up 1.59% from a year before and hitting the second-highest level on record, the labor ministry has announced.

The average was slightly higher than the ¥845,453 in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and trailed only the ¥870,731 in 2018, the ministry said Friday.

Average summer bonuses grew in 15 of the 21 industries surveyed.

The precision instruments industry saw the steepest increase, at 38.14%, followed by the service industry, with an increase of 18.47% and the transportation industry, with a rise of 7.75%.

On the other hand, the food and tobacco industry saw a decline of 19.64%, and the electricity and gas sector logged a fall of 10.71%.

The ministry survey covered 351 companies with capital of ¥1 billion or more, 1,000 or more employees, and labor unions.