• Jiji

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A survey by the labor and education ministries showed Friday that 83% of job-seeking university students who are slated to graduate in March had informal job offers as of Dec. 1.

The figure was up 0.8 percentage point from a year before, when it dived amid the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, due to more firms being willing to hire in anticipation of an economic recovery. The proportion rose for the first time in three years while falling short of pre-pandemic levels.

The share of male students who obtained informal job offers stood at 81.3%, up 0.9 point, and that of female students was up 0.7 point at 85%.

The rate came to 87.3% for students majoring in sciences and 82.1% for students in humanities and social science courses.

By region, the figure was highest for students at universities in Kanto, which includes Tokyo, at 86.7%. Meanwhile, year-on-year drops were recorded for students at universities in the Kinki region, which includes Osaka, the Chugoku-Shikoku region and the area comprising Hokkaido and the Tohoku region.

The share of university students with informal job offers had been on an uptrend in recent years against a backdrop of labor shortages.

But the reading as of Dec. 1, 2020, for students graduating in March 2021, dropped 4.9 points to 82.2% as their job-hunting activities were restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rate of students with informal job offers “is gradually recovering partly because some industries, such as the information technology and construction sectors, both struggling with personnel shortages, are active in hiring,” said Makoto Takahashi, chief editor of the Mynavi job information website.

Citing the ongoing surge in cases of infection with the highly transmissible omicron variant of the coronavirus, however, Takahashi added, “Job-hunting activities by students who will graduate in March 2023 and hiring activities by companies may be affected, depending on the (infection) situation.”

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