More companies are offering jobs to university students on course to graduate next March than the previous year as businesses look to secure their workforce amid a growing labor shortage, a Tokyo-based recruitment company said Tuesday.

Among students searching for jobs, 14.8 percent had a job offer as of April 1, up 5.1 percentage points from a year earlier, according to a survey conducted by Recruit Career Co.

As the Japan Business Federation, the nation's most powerful business lobby, also known as Keidanren, allows membership firms to officially begin recruiting on June 1, the job offers in the survey are believed to be issued by nonmember companies such as foreign, information technology, and small and midsized firms.

The job offer rate for students studying arts and humanities was 14.4 percent, and those majoring in sciences stood at 15.7 percent.

By gender, 15.6 percent of male students have secured jobs, and 13.8 percent of female students, the survey showed.

The poll was conducted via the internet over four days through last Thursday, with 926 students responding, according to the agent.