TOKYO: The proportion of job-seeking university students in Japan graduating next March who had secured informal job offers as of Oct. 1 stood at 69.8 percent, down 7.0 percentage points from a year before, a government survey showed Tuesday.
The October rate slipped below 70 percent for the first time since 2015, as students’ job-hunting activities were seriously affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic, according to the survey by the labor and education ministries.
The pace of decline was the second steepest on record, after the 7.4-point plunge posted in the October 2009 survey, conducted in the aftermath of the global financial crisis reflecting the September 2008 collapse of US investment bank Lehman Brothers. Although the October job-securing rate had been rising since hitting bottom in 2010, at 57.6 percent, a seller’s market for job hunters has changed drastically this year.
Companies facing earnings deterioration are moving to curb hiring. While many companies were forced to cancel their job seminars amid the pandemic, universities have been unable to provide enough support to job-seeking students, a labor ministry official said.
Of students majoring in humanities and social sciences, 68.7 percent secured informal job offers, down 7.5 points, according to the latest survey. The rate for students with science majors was down 4.8 points at 74.5 percent.
The job-securing rate stood at 70.9 percent for female students, higher than 68.8 percent for male students.
The rate stood at 59.7 for students of universities in the Chugoku and Shikoku western region, down 10.4 points, marking the lowest figure among regions across the country.
The rate in Hokkaido, northernmost Japan, and the Tohoku northeastern region came to 64.2 percent, down 10.3 points, logging the sharpest decline ever.
For students of two-year women’s colleges, the job-securing rate plunged 13.5 points to 27.1 percent. The virus crisis has hampered job-hunting activities of students who hope to become nursery teachers, government officials noted.