The proportion of university students in Japan graduating in spring 2021 who had secured informal job offers as of May 1 stood at 45.7 percent, down 5.7 percentage points from a year earlier, a private survey showed Wednesday.
The rate fell from the year-before level for the first time since the current hiring schedule was adopted for graduates in 2017, according to the survey by job-information provider Recruit Career Co.
The drop came as companies have put off holding interviews with students due to the government’s state of emergency declaration over coronavirus that, among other things, calls for reducing personal contact, the company said.
According to the survey, only 35.2 percent of responding students said they attended face-to-face interviews, in April, down about 50 percent from a year earlier. Meanwhile, 56.9 percent said they had online interviews, up more than seven-fold.
“Still, many companies are holding back from giving informal job offers, as they want to meet applicants in person for the final interview,” a Recruit Career representative said.
The job-securing rate as of April 1 was 9.8 points higher than levels last year. But hiring activities have stalled since the emergency declaration, issued on April 7 for seven of the nation’s 47 prefectures and expanded nationwide on April 16.
Yamato Transport Co.’s hiring schedule, for example, has been set back about a month as it has been suspending related activities since early April.
Also on Wednesday, job information provider Mynavi Corp. said that it has decided to cancel all joint company job seminars for students planned through the end of June in the 13 prefectures designated for the implementation of intensive coronavirus response measures under the state of emergency.
It is feared that the decline in opportunities for students and companies to interact will lead to many job seekers applying to major firms with high name recognition, potentially making it harder for smaller companies to acquire new talent.