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A total of 80.3 percent of university students seeking employment this spring received informal job offers by Dec. 1, according to a joint survey by the Education and Labor ministries released Wednesday.

The figure is down 4.5 percentage points from the same period last year, continuing a downward trend from the start of the joint survey in 1996.

The results of the survey indicate that the protracted recession is continuing to keep companies from recruiting in large numbers.

Students at women’s colleges were especially hit hard, with only 59.4 percent of job seekers receiving offers, down 14.3 percentage points from last year. Students at two-year junior colleges, comprised predominantly of women, also fared poorly, with 56.6 percent securing job offers.

According to the survey, female students at four-year colleges fared better, with 73.5 percent receiving job offers. This was still 5.3 percentage points lower than the previous year’s 78.8 percent, and the percentage still trails behind the figure for male college students, which stood at 83.5 percent.

The survey covers 5,860 students from 108 universities and junior colleges nationwide. From the survey results, it is estimated that some 143,000 students still do not know where they may be working in April, up 17,000 from last year’s 126,000.

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