The latest data from Japan labour and education ministries indicated that a great majority (98 percent) of newly graduated university students in the country have found jobs at the beginning of this fiscal year in April. The record-high figure represented a good sign of the nation’s recovering economy.
According to an annual survey conducted by the government, the employment rate of job-seeking graduates rose 0.4 percentage point from a year earlier, up for the seventh consecutive year. With an increasing drive for recruitment, the rate of university students looking for jobs also showed the highest percentage on record as it increased to 75.3 percent.
A labour ministry official said that the rises of employment rate could be attributed to an economic turnaround that has provided students with bigger opportunities to apply for job roles that suited their preferences. The employment rate among new high school graduates who sought jobs as of the end of March gained 0.1 percentage point to 98.1 percent, up for the eighth straight year, Nikkei Asian Review reports.
Speaking in a press conference, the minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology Yoshimasa Hayashi said, “Enhanced collaboration between Hello Work (public job placement offices) and universities or high schools as well as improved career education have contributed to the strong figures.”
The employment rate of university graduates who majored in humanities has climbed 0.9 percentage point to 98.2 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage for those who majored in science-related studies fell 1.5 percentage point to 97.2 percent. It was the first time the figure for science majors came below that for humanities majors.
Regarding this finding, the labour ministry said there might have been more science graduates who opted to land jobs at companies of their first choices, even if that meant they have to spend one more year to obtain qualifications demanded by some firms.
Meanwhile, with around 8,200 new university graduates in the country are estimated to remain unemployed, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said it will continue to support their measures to secure employment.
Conducted since 1997, the annual survey involved 24 national and public universities and 38 private universities with some 4,800 students. Each university interviewed students to track their employment situation. The new university graduates’ employment rate recovered from a record low of 91.0 percent in the spring of 2011, weeks after the March earthquake and tsunami disaster struck northeastern Japan.
The seller’s market is expected to continue this fiscal year on the back of labor shortages except for some industries such as major banks, which have decided to slash new hires, experts said.