University students’ prospects improve; 63% have job offers (Nov.28)

The Yomiuri Shimbun
The percentage of university students set to graduate next spring who have received unofficial job offers stood at 63.1 percent as of Oct. 1, up 3.2 percentage points from a year earlier, marking improvement for two years in a row, according to a survey by the labor and education ministries.

The rate for high school students slightly dropped, but those for students at junior colleges, technical colleges and vocational schools were higher than in the previous year. An official of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry said, “The situation is about to come out of its worst period since the Lehman shock.”

The proportion of university students who found jobs was estimated by the survey targeting 62 universities nationwide. The rate for male students was 63.0 percent, up 1.3 points from the same time last year, while that for female students was 63.2 percent, up 5.5 points. The rate for students with humanities majors was 62.4 percent, up 2.7 points, while that of students with science majors was 66.8 percent, up 6.2 points.

By region, the rate in Kanto was 67.2 percent, the highest. It was 66.4 percent in Kinki and 54.9 percent in Kyushu. The rate in the Chugoku/Shikoku region was lower than the previous year, at 49.5 percent.

The official recruiting period for university students has shortened by two months since last fiscal year. But the ministry said the ratio of job offers to applicants rose from 1.23-to-1 to 1.27-to-1. Students’ increased interest in small and midsize companies was given as a reason for the rise.

After the job offer rate hit 57.6 percent in 2010, the worst since the survey using the current method began in 1996, it increased by 2.3 points in 2011 and by another 3.2 points this year.

The ministry said the rate changed depending on employment by small and midsize companies, and it is not optimistic about such improvements continuing.

The rate for two-year college students was 27.4 percent, up 4.7 points, while technical college students were at 96.2 percent, up 2.3 points, and vocational school students were at 42.6 percent, up 2.4 points.

On the other hand, as of the end of September, the rate for high school students was 41 percent, down 0.5 point.

(Nov. 28, 2012)