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New graduates having hard time finding jobs

Date Posted: 1998-03-20

New high school and college graduates are having a hard time finding jobs after their graduation as less than half of them have secured a position for them before the graduation. The situation has continued for five years in a row.

March is the month when many graduating high school and college students begin their job search and recent statistics are disappointing. A local company publishing help-wanted magazines conducted a survey among recent graduates and while there has been an increase of 2.9% from last yearŐs figures, unemployment is still at dangerous levels. 2070 surveys were handed out and 1044 were received. Compiled answers show that less then 50% of 1997 graduates have secured employment and females have a much harder time finding jobs than young men. Only 32.3% of young women have job prospects upon leaving school while for men the number is 54.2%. Okinawa has been in a slump in recent years with unemployment and low paying jobs causing more and more young people to move to mainland Japan in hopes of better opportunities. Another problem is that many people are returning to Okinawa after successful careers in mainland and competing with the students for jobs.

One reason for the low numbers is that recently graduated students seem to spend more time at home than they do searching for employment. The survey reported that 32.5% of respondents claimed they did not look for work this year while 13.1% went to only 2-3 seminars for companies. 20.6% of students never attended seminars they had planned to. Another 28.9% said they still havenŐt heard from companies they had an interview with or attended seminars for. Education officials feel that if students donŐt have a concrete plan, dreams or the urge to get out and look for work, they will not find a job or if they do, they will not last long in the field they are employed in.

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