The government said Tuesday 96.7 percent of March university graduates were employed as of the April 1 start of the 2015 business year, up 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier and marking the fourth straight year of improvement.
The figures were based on a survey by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology covering 62 four-year universities across the country.
An estimated 397,000 graduates have found jobs while 14,000 have failed to do so despite looking for work. The employment rate was the second highest after the peak logged in the spring of 2008, half a year before a global financial crisis broke out.
By region, the Chubu region, central Japan, and the Chugoku-Shikoku region, western Japan, posted the highest rate of 97.3 percent, while the Kyushu region in southwestern Japan saw the lowest rate of 94.7 percent.
The rate was 97.7 percent among national and public universities and 96.3 percent among private universities.
According to a survey by the health ministry, the employment rate among high school graduates as of the end of March stood at 98.8 percent, up 0.6 point from a year earlier and the highest since 1992, with some 169,000 graduates having landed jobs.