Shortage of science grads vexes Japanese companies
Nikkei -- Mar 23
Companies recruiting technology majors from Japanese universities are bracing for another year of missed targets as the supply of graduates fails to keep pace with broad demand for such skills as AI engineering and data analysis.

Businesses aim to hire 11.7% more science and technology college students graduating in spring 2020, marking a sixth straight year of double-digit increases, according to a Nikkei survey released Friday. This is 7.5 percentage points higher than the increase for humanities majors. In addition to talent in cutting-edge fields, mechanical engineers and pharmacists are also seeing brisk demand.

But for new hires joining companies this spring, employers have failed to fill more than 5% of their quota for job offers to science graduates, representing an increase in a supply-demand gap that has persisted since data collection began in 2008. By contrast, businesses have hired more humanities majors than planned every year since 2017. If the shortfall continues, Japanese businesses will lack the talent they need to compete effectively.

In overall hiring, major companies plan to recruit 7.9% more fresh university graduates next spring -- a smaller increase than in 2019, but still a 10th straight year of growth. Hiring by nonmanufacturers is set to grow 9.6%, up 2 points from a year earlier amid a labor shortage in industries such as ground transportation. But the rise among manufacturers comes to just 4.5%, a 5.7-point slowdown.

News source: Nikkei
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