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An expert panel of the labor ministry on Monday called for efforts to avoid creating a new "ice age" in employment.

It is necessary to take every measure to support new graduates as concerns are growing over the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their employment, the panel said in a report.

The number of people who graduated from university or high school without finding a job stood at 120,000 in 2000 amid the ice age generation era.

Due to the pandemic, the number of such people is expected to increase rapidly in 2021, from 20,000 in 2020.

According to a survey by job information provider Recruit Career Co., 88.7% of job-seeking university students expecting to graduate in spring 2021 had received informal job offers as of Oct. 1, down 5.1 percentage points from a year before.

The proportion of female students who had yet to find a future path nearly doubled, according to the survey.

The report stressed the need to make sure that young people can apply for jobs as new graduates for three years, as recommended by labor ministry guidelines issued to companies in 2010.

Only about 70% of companies had introduced such a measure as of 2019. The panel called for more compliance.

A series of cancellations of informal job offers may drive up the number of unemployed young people, the report said, calling for support through Hello Work public job placement places for young people.

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