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Survey: More employers plan to hire recent college grads

Monday, April 11, 2011  
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By Sean F. Driscoll
Posted Apr 11, 2011 @ 06:04 PM
Last update Apr 11, 2011 @ 07:36 PM

The post-graduation job market is likely to be kinder to this year’s crop of college graduates than those who left school at the height of the Great Recession.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers’ latest college hiring survey shows 53 percent of employers plan an increase in their college hiring compared with last year, up from less than 50 percent in the fall. NACE also conducts surveys on both hiring and recruitment activities on college campuses; both measures show improvement compared to last year.

The Great Recession was tough on all categories of job seekers, especially those leaving college with a degree but little work history. The unemployment rate for job seekers ages 20 to 24 was 15 percent in March. That’s down 0.7 percentage points from March 2010, but nearly double what it was just four years ago.

Kelly Cooper, director of the career services office at Rockford College, said she’s noticed more optimism from this year’s seniors who are starting their job hunts.

"It seems like just two years ago, a number of students were saying they would go to graduate school rather than try and look for work,” she said. "Now they’re saying maybe they should go into the work force. It’s not automatic that they stay in school.”

NACE is a professional organization that connects college career service departments with more than 3,000 recruiting staff. Every month from October to April, it polls its membership on both hiring and recruiting activities and produces an index of the responses.

Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director, said in a news release that the index’s improvement points to the strongest hiring season for college students in two years.

This story appeared at on April 11, 2011.

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