Japan's university graduate employment at highest rate since 2008

Japan's university graduate employment at highest rate since 2008
Job seekers, mainly university students, participate in a joint job-hunting event in Fukuoka on March 3.

Employment of high school graduates seeking work stood at 97.5 per cent, marking the fifth consecutive year in which this rate has increased.

The ministries said that companies have become more enthusiastic in hiring new workers due to the nation's economic recovery, and that job offers have also been on the rise in provincial regions.

The ministries conducted sampling research on a total of 62 institutions among state-run, local government-run and private universities nationwide.

Among the graduates, about 411,000 - the highest ever - wished to become employees. Of them, about 397,000 were believed to have secured jobs.

By gender, 96.5 per cent of male graduates, up 2.7 percentage points from a year ago, found jobs, and 96.9 per cent of female graduates, up 1.7 points, secured employment.

For university arts and sciences courses, 96.5 per cent of arts graduates, up 2.5 points, and 97.2 per cent of science graduates, up 0.8 point, found jobs.

Among graduates of junior colleges who sought work, 95.6 per cent, up 1.4 points, were able to find positions.

By region, the highest rates were seen in the Chubu and Chugoku-Shikoku regions, at 97.3 per cent. The figure in the Chubu region rose 1.9 points from a year ago, while that in the Chugoku-Shikoku region rose 4.5 points.

These were followed by the Kinki region at 97.1 per cent, up 3.3 points; the Kanto region at 96.9 per cent, up 0.5 point; the Hokkaido-Tohoku region at 95.3 per cent, up 2.5 points; and Kyushu with 94.7 per cent, up 3.9 points.

Increases of job offers were notable in provincial regions where the recovery of good employment conditions has been slow.

Takao Yoshimoto, editor in chief of a job information magazine at Mynavi Corp., said, "The numbers of job offers have been increasing in a wide variety of industries, as corporate performance has been improving. Major companies have been making efforts to attract students by, for example, increasing internship programs. But small and midsize companies are negatively affected by such actions, and there have been situations in which the smaller companies become unable to hire sufficient numbers of new graduates."

Also on Tuesday, the education ministry announced that 97.5 per cent of high school graduates who graduated this spring and sought employment had found jobs as of the end of March.

That figure had risen 0.9 percentage point from a year ago. It was the first time in 23 years that the figure surpassed the 97 per cent line, with the previous occasion being in 1992.

The employment rate among males was 98.1 per cent, up 0.6 point, and that of females was 96.4 per cent, up 1.3 points.

By prefecture, the highest rate was 99.9 per cent in Toyama Prefecture, followed by 99.8 per cent in Fukui and Ishikawa prefectures.

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