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More than 80 percent of new recruits who started working this spring would choose to work if asked to do overtime rather than go out on a date, according to a survey, possibly reflecting a shift in young people’s values under the harsh economic conditions.

A record-high 82.8 percent of 3,200 new employees polled who participated in job training offered by the Japan Productivity Center, a nonprofit organization based in Tokyo, between March and April said they would prioritize work, while 16.6 percent said they would choose a date over extra work.

The gap between the two sides has been growing from 25 percentage points in 1991 and hit a record this year at 66.2 points, with 78.6 percent of men and 88.4 percent of women prioritizing work, the survey said.

“Perhaps people are becoming more conscious of work than their private lives as they really feel how harsh the economy is,” said an official in charge of the survey.

Asked whether they feel insecure about possibly being laid off, 46.1 percent answered yes, an increase from 39.8 percent last year.

A record-high 63.1 percent of women said they would work after marrying.

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