JAPAN: Thousands delay graduation to try to find jobs

At least 79,000 senior university students are believed to have intentionally stayed in school an extra year so they have a better chance of finding a job, a Yomiuri Shimbun survey has found. Because the mass employment of new graduates by major corporations is still rooted in tradition, many senior students unsuccessful in finding work are repeating a year to engage in job-hunting activities as new graduates.

The number of seniors scheduled to graduate next spring is about 568,000, with one out of seven students believed to be repeating their senior year. The situation is making current job-hunting activities even more competitive than usual. This is the first time a survey has provided proof that students are purposely repeating their final year for job-hunting purposes.

Called the "The Power of Universities" survey, the Yomiuri Shimbun's research sampled 735 national, public and private four-year universities, excluding correspondence and special schools. The research began two years ago and is in its third year, with the focus on universities' efforts to improve student education.
Full report on The Yomiuri Shimbun site