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Concerns about employment prospects amid a faltering economy are leading young workers to be more conservative in their job choices, as the preference for seniority-based work systems is on the rise, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Sanno Institute of Management.

The survey on 526 people in March and April found that 40 percent of new company employees were in favor of seniority-based work systems, up 6.5 percentage points over a year earlier, and the second-highest ratio since the survey was first conducted in 1990. In 1995, 43.1 percent were found to favor seniority-based systems.

The survey also found that 54.9 percent preferred lifetime employment, up 1.2 percentage points, while 48.8 percent voiced support for merit-based annual salaries, down 3 points.

Among other findings, 53.9 percent were eager to pursue careers as experts in their chosen business fields, up 2.3 points.

On furthering their careers, many respondents said they would be willing to improve their foreign-language skills, acquire qualifications and expand personal ties outside the company.

Sanno surveyed 600 new company employees who attended its annual job-training seminars and received replies from 526 of them — 344 men and 182 women.

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