Sixty-four percent of recent high school graduates who are now in part-time work had hoped to land full-time jobs, according to a recent Education Ministry survey.

The ministry said the survey shows high school graduates are being forced into part-time work because of shrinking employment opportunities amid the prolonged recession.

Only 26 percent of those surveyed chose part-time work over full-time employment or going on to further education, it said.

The ministry in February and March surveyed about 1,000 people who remain in part-time jobs after graduating from high school in 1997 and 1999. It was the ministry’s first survey on part-time workers.

The survey said 64 percent of part-time workers who graduated from high school in 1999 had hoped to get full-time jobs at companies or public offices, while 26 percent said they had intended to get part-time work.

The remaining 10 percent said they did not even want to do part-time work.

Asked why they ended up working part time, 51 percent of those who graduated from high school in 1999 said they failed to get full-time work. The same answer was given by 35 percent of those who graduated from high school in 1997.

Asked why they failed to find full-time work, more than 20 percent of both the 1997 and 1999 high school graduates said they did not find the types of job they wanted, it said.

Forty-three percent of those who graduated from high school in 1999 said they felt they were responsible for failing to get full-time jobs, with 21 percent saying they should have tried harder and 22 percent saying they ended up with part-time work because they did not know what they wanted to do after graduation.

Thirty percent of the respondents said they are happy in part-time work because they want to concentrate on areas other than their work lives, according to the survey.

The number of part-time workers aged between 15 and 34 stood at 1.51 million in 1997, up by 500,000 from 1992, according to the Labor Ministry’s white paper for this fiscal year.

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