For the first time in 44 months, the unemployment rate fell below 8 percent. The rate slid down to 7.8 percent. The job market also looks better for recent college graduates. Employers expect to hire 13 percent more newly-graduated college students in 2013, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
In the preview of its 2013 Job Outlook Survey, NACE says 37.6 percent of businesses claim to have firm plans to recruit on campuses in spring 2013. This is an increase of 3.3 percentage points compared to last spring.
According to the Associated Press, who obtained research from Northeastern University, 53.6 percent of recent graduates came out of college either unemployed or underemployed in 2012. In 2000, the Associated Press found the rate was at 41 percent.
Unemployment rates for all college graduates (bachelor’s, master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees) have been at a steady 4.1 percent for five months, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics study. Due to the increase in recruitment, this figure could drop in 2013.
Rebecca Nelson, assistant director of career development at Webster University, said with the drop in unemployment and increase in housing prices, businesses may be ready to increase their recruiting in 2013.
“Employers are potentially getting a better handle on what’s going on within their company. Things have maybe leveled out a little bit, and they can make decisions about hiring again,” Nelson said.
Diana Thomas, senior public relations major, has started to look for a job as graduation approaches for her in December 2012. Thomas said when she first came to Webster she never expected to run into the trials she faces in her job search.
“When I went into school it’s like, ‘Oh, well you just get an internship and you’ll get a job and then you’ll have kids.’ It wasn’t like you had to look,” Thomas said. “I never had the whole, ‘You have to do these things to get a job.’ I thought all you needed was an education.”
Nelson said this misconception could be the difference between a graduate getting a job in their field of study and unemployment or underemployment.
“Any individual student’s marketability relies on not just the degree they are obtaining, but the activities and internships and other co-curricular experiences that they have worked in while in school,” Nelson said. “Those things are now expected by employers.”
The full NACE Job Outlook Survey for 2013 will be released in November.