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An estimated 72,000 of this year’s crop of high school and university graduates looking for immediate employment had not secured jobs as of late March, according to two recent government surveys.

The surveys reveal that those who failed to secure employment after leaving high school numbered around 29,000, while those in the same position having graduated from universities and junior colleges averaged 43,000.

One of the surveys was carried out by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on around 267,000 public and private high school students. The other was conducted by the Education Ministry and the Ministry of Health Labor and Welfare on a representative sample of 5,860 university students.

Of those looking to start work after graduating, 89.2 percent of high school graduates and 91.9 percent of university graduates were successful in securing jobs, according to the surveys.

These figures represent slight improvements on the findings of last year’s surveys, evidencing an increase of 1 percentage point among high school graduates and 0.8 point among university graduates.

The results of last year’s surveys were the worst since the government started compiling joint statistics in fiscal 1996.

The two ministries will ask prefectural boards of education, labor groups and economic organizations to help the remaining unemployed graduates find work.

Within the high school survey, those wishing to start work immediately constituted a record-low 20.1 percent of all graduates.

Of these, 91.9 percent of males, up 1.2 points from last year, and 86.1 percent of females, up 0.8 point, had already found jobs.

By sector, employment rates stood at 95.3 percent for industry, 90.8 percent for fisheries, 90.7 percent for commerce and agriculture, 89.9 percent for integrated study, 88.5 percent for nursing, 86.5 percent for home economics and 84.8 percent for general subjects.

By prefecture, Gifu and Yamaguchi scored the highest employment rates with 97 percent each, followed by Toyama at 96.7 percent and Fukui at 96.6 percent.

Okinawa Prefecture had the lowest employment rate, at 62.4 percent, followed by Kochi with 81 percent and Wakayama with 81.3 percent.

Among university graduates, the employment rate for male students reached 92.3 percent, up 0.4 point from last year, and 91.2 percent for females, up 1.7 points.

Students of science disciplines enjoyed a 93.3 percent employment rate, slightly higher than humanities students, at 91.6 percent.

The employment rate among students from female-only junior colleges was 86.8 percent. Among those from vocational schools, it was 84.1 percent.

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