• Kyodo

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Some 81.7 percent of university students graduating this month had received job offers as of Feb. 1, up 1.2 percentage points from the year before, a government survey showed.

The figure rose for the second straight year but remained below the 85 to 90 percent level seen prior to the 2008 financial crisis. According to data released Friday by the labor and education ministries, an estimated 77,000 university students had not received job offers as of Feb. 1.

Among male students completing four-year university courses, 81.3 percent had received job offers, a year-on-year rise of just 0.6 point, while the figure for their female counterparts came to 82.0 percent, up 1.7 points. For female students graduating from two-year colleges, the survey found that 78.8 percent had received job offers — a surge of 11.9 points from the previous year.

“It appears companies that had limited recruitment following the (2008) Lehman shock have begun to recruit more,” a labor ministry official said.

At national or public universities, 86.5 percent of students had received job offers, down 1.1 points, while the ratio for those attending private universities stood at 80.1 percent, up 1.9 points, according to the survey.

The poll covered 62 national, public and private universities as well as 20 two-year colleges.

Meanwhile, 88.3 percent of graduating high school students had received job offers as of Jan. 31, an increase of 1.9 points compared with 2011, the labor ministry reported, while the number of job offers came to 221,000, up 9.9 percent.

By prefecture, the highest number of job offers for high schoolers was seen in Ishikawa, at 95.6 percent, and the lowest in Okinawa, at 63.4 percent, according to the ministry.

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