Job market is very tight for young people

The rate of successful job seekers among college and high school graduates was the lowest ever at the end of the school year in March.

A Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry survey released on August 8 showed that only 55 percent of college graduates seeking jobs got them, down 1.9 percentage points from the previous year. For high school graduates, only 16.6 percent of job seekers were successful, down 0.5 points from the previous year.

The number of college graduates who neither go to graduate school nor find work rose to 123,000, up 4,000 from the previous year, which accounts for 22.5 percent of graduates. The number for high school graduates was 133,000 or 10.3 percent.

Hayashi Mantaro, the secretary of a citizens' group calling for jobs to be created for young people, said, the "Koizumi structural reform" exacerbates the present economic slump by encouraging corporate restructuring and business failures, and it holds down personal spending. In this situation, many graduates seek a stable job as soon as possible after their graduation, but job openings are too scarce."

Hayashi suggested that most graduates who neither got a job nor went on to higher education are inevitably working as part timers or temporary workers because they could hardly find a stable job or afford to go on to higher education.

Hayashi said that with the present politics there would be little possibility of Japan's economy recovering. He proposed that it be shifted toward one making large corporations take social responsibility and providing labor regulations and employment for young people. (end)

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