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2013年11月19日 (火)

就職内定率上昇 若者の雇用安定につなげたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun November 19, 2013
Job stability among youth important goal amid nation’s economic recovery
就職内定率上昇 若者の雇用安定につなげたい(11月18日付・読売社説)

Thanks to the economic recovery, somewhat brighter signs have been emerging in the battle to find jobs. It is important for the upturn to further improve the percentage of graduating students who can secure jobs and to lead to more stable employment for young people.

The percentage of graduating college students who had found jobs as of Oct. 1 stood at 64.3 percent, rising for the third straight year.

Meanwhile, the nation’s real gross domestic product for the July-September period increased from the previous quarter, marking the fourth straight quarter of improvement.

Due to the positive effects of Abenomics, the economic policy championed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, one listed company after another posted rises both in sales and profit, from the corresponding period last year, in their mid-term settlement of accounts in September.

The percentage of college seniors seeking employment has also increased. Amid the so-called ice age for job hunters of the past few years, some seniors gave up hunting for regular jobs. But now students have high hopes as job opportunities continue to expand.

As a result of the economic recovery and improved business performance, many companies have apparently begun increasing recruitment.

The percentage of graduating high school students who have found jobs rose by 4.6 percentage points from a year earlier to 45.6 percent, apparently due to a marked improvement in the ratio of job openings to job applicants.

Yet it can hardly be said the employment environment for graduating students has made a full-fledged recovery.

The increase in the percentage of graduating college students who have secured jobs is only 1.2 percentage points compared with a year earlier, which was smaller than the growth posted last year. The percentage has not recovered to the level posted before the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

It is also worrisome that some companies remain cautious about increasing hires of newly graduating students, a task that is usually part of a medium- and long-term corporate strategy.

Some firms still cautious

The construction industry has markedly increased recruitment. The increase apparently stems from the rise in post-disaster reconstruction demand and public investment following the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Yet it remains uncertain whether the job openings will stay at the current level in the months ahead.

On the other hand, only a limited increase was seen in the number of recruits sought by the manufacturing sector, the nation’s key industry. While the performance of export-oriented companies has been recovering thanks to the yen’s decline against other major currencies, these firms probably remain cautious about prospects.

It is also feared that the hike in the consumption tax rate next spring will bring an economic slowdown. We hope the government will further promote its growth strategy to create an environment in which companies remain willing to recruit workers.

As new recruitment has peaked among leading companies, small and midsize companies hold the key to what the employment rate will be like next April. Colleges and universities must extend their support to students by serving as intermediaries between their graduating students and small and midsize companies so as many students as possible can secure jobs upon graduation.

It is a matter of regret, however that about 30 percent of new recruits quit their jobs within three years after graduation.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) are asking companies to regard students who are still looking for work within three years of graduation as new graduates when recruiting. At the same time, the reemployment prospects will be dismal for those who quit jobs before they have acquired certain job skills.

It is important for students to choose their future employers by taking this reality to heart.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 18, 2013)
(2013年11月18日01時44分  読売新聞)


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