Japan's full-timers put in most overtime on record in 2014

Japan's full-timers put in most overtime on record in 2014

TOKYO - Japan has long been known as a place where workers toil for long hours and take few holidays. The latest data does nothing to shake that stereotype.

The average Japanese full-timer worked 173 hours of overtime last year, according to the Monthly Labor Survey compiled by the labour ministry. That is seven hours longer than in 2013 and 36 more than the tally two decades ago.

The statistics show employees last year worked roughly three hours of overtime per week, the most since the government started keeping tabs in 1993.

Some sectors stood out as particularly demanding. In cargo transport, workers logged 463 extra hours on an annual basis. In automobile manufacturing, the count came to 275 hours. In information services, it was 248 hours.

Japan's government and some companies are taking measures to curb overtime. The numbers suggest the efforts are still a work in progress.

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