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Fewer Government Employment Applicants in Japan

Posted April. 25, 2007 03:16,   


In Japan, type 1 government employment examination is for selecting candidates for executives of the central government and is usually taken by 4-year university degree holders. It is equivalent to the Senior Civil Service Examination of South Korea. Type 3 is usually taken by high school graduates, and type 2 stands between type 1 and type 3.

The number of applicants for Japan`s type 1 government employment examination dropped by 15.6% year-on-year in 2006.

Last year, the number of applicants for the type 2 and 3 tests also dropped by 22.6% and 19.0% to 47,709 and 21,358 year-on-year, respectively.

The trend is accelerating that the applicants are abandoning government employment, and this is also shown by the fact that the number of applicants for clerical office jobs in the 23 regions of Tokyo fell by 12% last year.

Like in South Korea, the `ice ages of employment` in the civil sector that followed the collapse of the `bubble economy` in the early 1990s drove Japanese university students to the government employment examinations. With an exceedingly large number of university degree holders applying for examinations, the government decided to adopt a `reverse discrimination` policy in 1996 that restricted the applications of university degree holders.

But Japanese enterprises, having overcome the long years of recession, began an all-out competition to employ human resources 3 or 4 years ago. As a result, the number of applicants for government employment is rapidly decreasing.

This put the Japanese local and central governments on alert lest the quality of civil service men and women deteriorate, and made them prepare measures.

Some local governments even hold job fairs targeting freshmen and sophomores in order to secure human resources before civil enterprises do.

13,153 persons applied for the primary Senior Civil Service Examination in February; 303 persons will be selected for interviews.

For the public government employment level 9 exam held on April 14, 186,478 persons applied; 2,888 will pass. This exam is similar to that of last year which had the highest number of applicants, 187,562.

In October last year the Korea Railroad had to set up temporary train schedules due to the large number of people from provinces applying for the level 7 and 9 public government employment exams; the total number of applicants amounted to 151,150.

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