Photo/Illutration A labor ministry survey for 2020 shows a wide gap in average monthly salary between men and women. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The gap narrowed, but the average monthly salary of full-time female employees was still only 74.4 percent of the pay for their male counterparts in 2020, a labor ministry survey showed.

The salary difference shrunk by 0.1 point from the previous year, according to the results of the basic survey on wage structure released on March 31.

The lower average salary for women was attributable mainly to the fact that more men hold managerial positions, such as department head or section chief.

The average monthly salary of new university graduates was 227,200 yen ($2,054) for men and 224,600 yen for women. For new graduates from high school, the average monthly pay was 179,500 yen for men and 174,600 yen for women.

Overall, full-time workers earned 307,700 yen a month, up by 0.6 percent from the previous year, the survey showed.

The survey covers people who worked for 18 days or more in June every year.

In 2020, the survey excluded more workers than usual because of business suspensions amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey method was also partially changed.