86% of Fukushima high school graduates-to-be want local jobs, highest since 1989

Of the 4,907 senior high school students in Fukushima Prefecture who plan to enter the workforce after graduating next March, 4,242 students, or 86.4%, hope to find jobs within the prefecture, according to statistics released on June 18 by the Fukushima office of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. It was the highest percentage among data available since fiscal 1989 for students graduating in the following March. The Fukushima Labor Bureau surveyed the prefecture’s senior high schools on the students’ job-seeking trends as of May 15. The rate of those seeking local jobs had fallen below 80% for two consecutive years following the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant – 77.0% among graduates in March 2012 and 77.6% among those in March 2013 – but has since gradually recovered. The record-high rate was likely due to reasons such as improved employment conditions in Fukushima amid economic recovery and a strong desire among high school students to be involved in their hometown’s reconstruction, according to the labor office. The spread of a scheme under which local firms support job-seeking youths by providing more detailed information regarding their companies and employment opportunities is also believed to have helped. The most popular job category that male students hoped to land was manufacturing at 37%, followed by technicians or professional engineers at 16% and construction and mining at 9%. For female students, on the other hand, most popular was the service industry at 27%, followed by clerical work at 20% and sales and marketing at 18%. (Translated by Kyodo News)