• Kyodo

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Job offers for high school students graduating next spring are up more than 70 percent in the three prefectures most severely hit by the March 2011 quake and tsunami, government data showed Monday.

The number of jobs offered in Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures totaled 13,275 as of the end of September, up 72.4 percent from a year earlier and recovering to the level seen in 2008, before the global financial crisis deepened, according to data compiled by regional labor bureaus.

There was a notable increase in the manufacturing and construction sectors as companies affected by the disasters are recruiting more people and reconstruction work keeps contractors short-staffed, the data showed.

But while the improving labor market in Tohoku could further encourage high school students to seek jobs locally, the number of jobs in preferred sectors such as electronics and machinery production is limited, labor bureau officials said.

Some companies remain cautious about recruiting due to the uncertain outlook for the regional economy.

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