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More than 30 percent of 150 major companies are planning to cut new recruitment next spring, mainly due to the slump in the information technology industry, a Kyodo News survey showed Sunday.

Forty-nine companies, or 32.7 percent of the total, said they will reduce the number of employees they hire in spring 2003 from this spring, while only 26 companies, or 17.3 percent, said they will boost hiring.

The cuts in recruitment were mainly forecast by firms in the IT industry, such as electronics firms.

The setback comes after new hires in the IT industry increased for the second year in a row this spring.

According to the survey, companies planning recruitment cuts include Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp., NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., NTT DoCoMo Inc. and KDDI Corp.

Most of their cuts in new hires will affect engineering positions rather than clerical jobs, the survey showed.

In other business sectors, McDonald’s Co. (Japan) Ltd., hit by the outbreak of mad cow disease in Japan last September — despite its claim of using only Australian and American beef — said it will reduce new recruitment in the spring of 2003.

In the tourism sector, JTB Corp. and Kinki Nippon Tourist Co. are also eyeing reducing hiring quotas in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, which damaged the travel business.

Companies planning to hire more employees next spring include Nissan Motor Co., Nippon Steel Corp., Mitsui & Co., Itochu Corp. and Yamato Transport Co., according to the survey conducted from late March to mid-April.

Sixty-one companies said they will hire roughly the same number of employees next spring. This group includes Toyota Motor Corp., First Retailing Co. and Takefuji Corp.

Seiyu Ltd. is the only company surveyed that does not plan to hire any employees next spring, continuing a recruitment freeze begun this spring, the survey showed.

Ten companies said they have yet to decide how many new employees to hire, and three companies said they will increase employment in some sectors and decrease it in other sectors.

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