Of the university students who graduated this spring, 94.4 percent had secured jobs as of April 1, the highest in five years, a survey by the education and labor ministries said Friday.
The rate was up 0.5 percentage point from a year earlier, improving for the third straight year, thanks to Japanese companies’ willingness to hire on the strength of Japan’s economic recovery.
It was the highest rate since the 95.7 percent recorded in spring 2009.
Of high school students who graduated this spring, 96.6 percent had gotten jobs as of the end of March, up 0.8 point and rising for four years on end, according to a separate report by the education ministry.
The rate was the highest in 22 years, since the 96.9 percent logged in spring 1992.
The rate for high school graduates approached levels seen in the 1980s bubble economy, reflecting labor shortages in the construction, medical and nursing-care sectors.
By prefecture, Fukui and Ishikawa were at the top, with 99.8 percent of graduates securing jobs, while Okinawa was lowest at 85.6 percent, the data said.
Regarding the three prefectures in the Tohoku Region hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, 99.1 percent of high school graduates in Iwate landed jobs, up 1.2 points from the previous year, followed by Miyagi, with 98.6 percent, up 0.1 point, and Fukushima’s 98.8 percent, up 0.3 point.
Meanwhile, the rate for university graduates is still short of the 96.9 percent seen in spring 2008, before the global financial crisis triggered by the collapse of the U.S. housing market in September 2008.
“Large companies tend to maintain stringent criteria for selecting college graduates,” a labor ministry official said.
The job rate for new university graduates stood at 93.8 percent for men, up 0.6 point, against 95.2 percent for women, up 0.5 point.
Of all university graduates, job-seeking students accounted for 71.5 percent, up 1.2 points and the third-highest ever.