Japanese college graduate employment rate down for second year amid pandemic

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A total of 74.2% of those who graduated from college in Japan in March found jobs, down 3.5 percentage points from a year earlier for the second straight annual drop amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to government data.

The number of university graduates who have landed jobs fell to 432,790, according to data from the Ministry of Education last week, with an official saying job vacancies have fallen in some sectors due to the spread of COVID. -19.

Meanwhile, the number of those who went on to higher education increased by around 4,000 to 68,776, or 11.8% of the total, while 56,228 graduates, or 9.6%, did not. found a job or went on to higher education, up by around 15,000 over the year. before.

The official said more graduates apparently thought it was better to stay in school under difficult employment conditions.

The academic and business year begins in April for most educational institutions and businesses in Japan.

Of those who found jobs, 411,802 secured permanent employment, about 16,000 less than the previous year. The number of those on fixed-term contracts of a year or more compared to those offering permanent positions rose by 2,500 to 15,947, the data showed.

Many companies have held back new hires as the pandemic has weighed on domestic consumption and restricted business activities.

The tourism and catering industries have been hit particularly hard as people have been told to stay home during the country’s virus states of emergency.

The annual survey of educational institutions, conducted in May on all types of schools located in Japan and covering a range of data, also showed that a record 58.9% of high school graduates went to universities and colleges.

When other tertiary institutions such as vocational schools are included, a record 83.8% of graduates entered tertiary education.

The ministry attributed the record numbers to a government program to provide financial support to students from low-income households who wish to continue their education.

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