Tomorrow’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report for the month of April will provide additional insight into the type of job market American college graduates will soon find themselves.
In Q1, BLS reflected a job market on the comeback trail, adding 113,000, 175,000 and 192,000 jobs in January, February and March, respectively.
And yesterday, ADP, the private payroll company, in its monthly report on the private sector, reported 220,000 jobs were added in April, which is the most since November 2013. It is on par with the continuing economic up-trend happening this year. So where will the U.S. workforce’s newest class find itself in a changing, growing economic landscape?
Companies are targeting new grads
Despite what the numbers show tomorrow, employers are eager to sort through resumes of recent college graduates, according to a recent survey.
A National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) early spring survey shows employers plan to hire 8.6 percent more Class of 2014 graduates than they did from the same poll in 2013. This is an increase of 7.8 percent over a projection from fall 2013.
NACE also finds 48.4 percent of respondents are increasing their college hiring, and less than 30 percent plan to cut back. This time last year, 49.2 percent reported they had plans to raise their college hire numbers, while 36 percent were cutting back.
This is welcome news to the class of 2014 but it is important to point out we are still in a competitive market and there are some skills and geographies in more demand than others. Some of the hottest jobs that 2014 college grads should consider are in the fields of accounting, information technology, engineering, marketing and public relations, research analysts and many different opportunities in the healthcare field, ranging from nursing and assistants to physicians. Obviously, some of these fields and positions require very specific education and training.
Unemployment rate for grads improves along with rest of U.S. economy, slowly
The unemployment rate for 2013 college graduates is 10.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor in April. This is down from 13.3 percent in 2012 and reflects the lowest it’s been since 2007, when it was 7.7 percent. The Department of Labor considers a college graduate in this case as people ages 20 to 29 who have earned a four-year or advanced degree.
This rate technically reflects a weak job market, but also corresponds with the slow improvement of the overall U.S. economy.
The overall unemployment rate in the United States was 6.7 percent, according to the March BLS report.
Nine percent of female graduates were unemployed as of October last year, compared with 13.7 percent of male graduates, according to the Labor Department. One such reasoning for this according to analysts is that women have by and large been employed in retail and hotels, two industries that have shown good growth over the last calendar year.
Are things still looking up?
Though the U.S. economy is still very uncertain, the last several BLS reports have reflected an economy beginning to budge.
If the country’s unemployment rate holds at or near 6.7 percent in tomorrow’s report, today’s college graduates make up a small, less-experienced segment of the 10,486,000 unemployed persons in the United States.
But with employers eager to hire hungry, young talent at a lower cost than more seasoned professionals — alongside an average of 160,000 new jobs per month over the course of Q1, according to BLS — today’s graduates may yet have a reason to be hopeful about their prospects in the U.S. job market.
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