• Kyodo


More than three-quarters of university students graduating this March have a job lined up for April, up for the third straight year, according to a government survey released Tuesday.

The percentage as of Dec. 1 was 76.6 percent, up 1.6 percentage points from a year earlier, but less than the 80.5 percent recorded in 2008 before the global financial crisis depressed the job market, according to the survey.

The poll was conducted by the labor and education ministries at 62 universities and 20 junior colleges.

Of male students, 76.2 percent had job offers, up 1.7 points from a year earlier. Females with job offers stood at 77.2 percent, up 1.6 points.

As of late November, high school students seeking employment who had a job lined up grew 3.4 points to 79.2 percent, up for the fourth straight year.

Insurers to raise salaries

Three major life insurers plan to increase wages for their sales staff in April or later on an upturn in employment conditions, according to company officials.

The move by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co., Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. and Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. is also aimed at luring top employees and keeping experienced workers on board to boost sales.

In general, wages for life insurers’ salespeople consist of performance-based pay on top of a base monthly salary, and the three insurers are set to raise the base salary, the officials said Monday.

Meiji Yasuda is considering introducing a new wage system in August for about 30,000 salespeople to effectively increase their basic pay. Under the new system, their monthly wages will rise by an average of ¥10,000, officials said.

Sumitomo plans to hike its starting salary by an average of ¥10,000 for some 6,000 new salespeople who are expected to join the company in April to secure capable human resources, officials said.

Fukoku has reached a deal with its labor union to raise wages for around 3,800 core workers among about 10,000 salespeople to enhance face-to-face sales, officials said.

Growth pleases U.N.



Japan’s economy and employment are improving, the chief of the International Labor Organization’s research unit said Monday.

“Japan is moving in a better direction in terms of growth and employment,” Raymond Torres, director of the U.N. organization’s International Institute for Labor Studies, told reporters.

Some major companies have indicated their readiness to increase pay this spring on the back of the economic recovery as the Abe administration calls for higher wages.

On employment in general, ILO Director General Guy Ryder warned against wage cuts aimed at enhancing corporate competitiveness.

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