SEOUL, The overtime hours average has been on a steady decline at South Korean companies affected by the mandatory 52-hour workweek, a government report said Tuesday.

According to the report by the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the average overtime hours per person at manufacturing companies with more than 300 employees was 19.2 hours in February, down 0.2 hours from a year earlier.

The reduction of overtime hours was particularly noticeable among manufacturers of the top-five sectors in terms of overtime hours, it noted.

In the rubber and plastic products manufacturing sector, the average overtime hours fell by 9.6 hours over the past year, while the beverage manufacturing sector logged a reduction of 8 hours, compared with 7.6 hours in foodstuffs manufacturing, 2.1 hours in metal products manufacturing and 2.1 hours in non-metallic mineral products manufacturing, the report said.

The nation implemented a maximum 52-hour workweek rule as part of efforts to stimulate consumption and generate more economic growth. The limit went into effect last July for companies with more than 300 employees and will be gradually expanded to cover smaller firms.

According to the latest report by the labor ministry, meanwhile, the number of working hours by all regular workers in South Korea, including those not subject to the 52-hour workweek, averaged 145.5 hours in February, down 7.9 hours from a year ago, while that of all non-regular workers declined by 7.2 hours to 88 hours.

The average monthly wage for all workers also fell 124,000 won, or 3.3 percent, to 3.64 million won in February, the report noted.

The average monthly wage for all regular workers decreased 3.7 percent to 3.86 million won, while that of all non-regular workers increased 6 percent to 1.39 million won.

The average monthly wage of workers at companies with more than 300 employees decreased 6.9 percent to 6.08 million won in February, while that of workers at companies with less than 300 employees shrank 2.4 percent to 3.19 million won, the report said.

Source: Yonhap news Agency