Job outlook brighter for new college grads - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Job outlook brighter for new college grads

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The class of 2012 is leaving college with something that many graduates since the start of the Great Recession have lacked: jobs.

To the relief of graduating seniors, and their anxious parents, the outlook is brighter than it has been in four years.  Campus job fairs were packed this spring and more companies are hiring. Students aren't just finding good opportunities, some are weighing multiple offers.

"It's just been such a dramatic change from what we saw in 2008," says Mercy Eyadiel, who oversees career development at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.  "Back then, openings disappeared overnight and companies were calling recent graduates to rescind offers.  It was a very bad, ugly situation."

The job market remains tough, even for those graduating from the best universities.  Hiring is not back to its pre-recession level and plenty of seniors are leaving campuses without jobs.  Yet this year's graduates are less likely to face the disappointment of moving back in with mom and dad, or being forced to work at a coffee shop to pay off loans.

Between September 2008 and August 2010, 6.9 million American jobs were eliminated. In the last year and a half, 3.1 million jobs have been created. The strengthening job market has made a big difference to seniors who are job-hunting in their final semester.

The unemployment rate for college graduates 24 and under averaged 7.2 percent from January through April.  That rate, which is not adjusted for seasonal factors, is down from the first four months of 2011 (9.1 percent), 2010 (8.1 percent) and 2009 (7.8 percent.)  Meanwhile, for all Americans, the unemployment rate is 8.1 percent.

 

 

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