Average overtime hours for all industries in Japan fell 2.5 percent in May from a year earlier to 9.1 hours, marking the 15th consecutive monthly decline, according to a recent government survey.

As for other findings, the average nonregular wage in all industries fell 3.5 percent to 17,102 yen per worker.

The average regularly paid wage came to 259,135 yen per worker, down 1.6 percent, resulting in a total wage of 276,237 yen, down 1.8 percent.

The average overall cash payment, including bonuses and other special payments, totaled 280,389 yen, down 2.4 percent.

But there was a bright sign. Employees at manufacturers worked an average of 12.5 hours overtime during the month, up 0.4 percent from a year earlier for the first rise in 15 months.

The figure also represents a seasonally adjusted 2.3 percent increase from the previous month for the fifth consecutive monthly gain, according to the survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

“Overtime hours have begun increasing on a recovery of production activity,” a ministry official said. “The upward trend is likely to continue and there are bright signs in sight for the economic outlook.”

The survey, which was released Monday, covers businesses with at least five employees.

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