• Kyodo

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Japanese companies have been cutting job offers to new graduates at the fastest pace in more than a decade, a government survey showed Tuesday, as the coronavirus pandemic has forced firms into thorough efforts to reduce costs.

As of Oct. 1, 69.8% of university students who will graduate next spring have received job offers, down 7.0 points from a year earlier. It was the sharpest fall since 2009 when the rate dropped 7.4 points amid the global financial crisis, according to the joint survey by the education and labor ministries.

It is the first time in five years that the ratio has fallen below 70% in October. The government began the survey in 1996.

“As companies have canceled job fairs, students have fewer opportunities for information gathering and consultations. We will support them,” a Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry official said.

The survey was conducted on 4,770 students from 62 national, public and private universities across Japan via telephone or in person.

Among industries hit by the pandemic, airlines are notably struggling with a significant fall in air travel demand.

ANA Holdings Inc., the parent of All Nippon Airways Co., and other group firms will only hire about 200 new graduates for the business year starting April 2022, ANA sources said.

The pandemic has already forced the group to revise its recruitment plan for the next business year starting April 2021, cutting the number of new graduates it will hire to 700 from the initially planned 3,200.

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