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65% of university grads in full-time jobs, ministry says

JIJI

Nearly 66 percent of all university students who graduated in spring had found full-time jobs as of May 1, the education ministry said in a report released Thursday.

In addition, truancy climbed at elementary and junior high schools while elementary and junior high schools watched enrollment fall to all-time lows due to birthrate decline.

According to the report, some 560,000 university students graduated in March and 372,662, or 65.9 percent, had secured regular employment as of May 1, up 2.7 points from a year ago and the fourth consecutive year of gains.

In the meantime, the overall employment rate for graduates rose 2.5 points to 69.8 percent. Of the 394,937 graduates who found jobs, more than 90 percent were able to find full-time employment, while those who opted for nonregular employment accounted for 3.9 percent and part-timers 2.6 percent.

Amid the economic stimulus, the employment environment for those seeking regular employment status after graduation has eased, a ministry official said.

Students who neither entered graduate school nor landed jobs stood at 68,481, or 12.1 percent, both year-on-year declines, the report showed.

Those graduates who could be described as NEETs — young people who are “not in education, employment, or training — slipped below 30,000.

Even the employment rate for high school graduates edged up this spring, by 0.6 point.

High school graduates who neither advanced to higher education nor found jobs fell by 6,100. As a result, the education continuance rate among 18-year-olds climbed to 80 percent for the first time.

Of all high school graduates, a record 51.5 percent enrolled at four-year universities while those who chose two-year colleges fell to the lowest level since 1989, the report said.