Amid labor shortage, survey finds 65% of Japan’s university seniors have rejected at least one job offer


Around 65 percent of university seniors in Japan had turned down one or more job offers as of October amid a nationwide labor shortage, an online survey showed Monday.

Of 1,529 seniors who responded to the survey, which was conducted by a career information company in early October, 92.1 percent had received one or more job offers as of Oct. 1 before their graduation next March — up 1.5 percentage points from a year earlier.

Of them, 64.6 percent had rejected one or more job offers, up 3.8 points from the previous year and the highest level since Recruit Career Co. began conducting the survey in 2012.

Japanese companies generally start recruitment months before students are due to graduate, with employment commencing at the start of the business year in April.

The percentage of rejections tends to rise when the economy is recovering as more positions are available for new graduates.

“Since companies made more offers than usual this year, an increasing number of students secured two or more jobs, pushing up the proportion of rejections,” a Recruit Career official said.

Some students who only received a single offer turned it down in order to look for a better opportunity amid the favorable labor market conditions, the official added.

According to the company, the proportion of students turning down one or more job offers has been on the rise since the recruitment environment began showing signs of improvement in 2012, when the figure stood at 45.9 percent. Before that, recruitment had been affected by hiring cutbacks following the 2008 global financial crisis.

While the survey indicates there are greater job opportunities for students, small and medium-sized companies said they are finding it hard to secure new graduates.

There were 1.78 jobs available for every student due to graduate next spring, about 1.4 times the figure recorded in 2013, according to Recruit Works Institute, a research division of Recruit Holdings Co.

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