Job market for new grades: too much competition

After a painful year of unemployment, the future has brightened for Alicia St. Germain, 22, a senior college senior at the University of Minnesota.

As a viral epidemic swept through the American economy last March, Barnes and Noble lost a part-time gig, like tens of millions of other Americans who were left unemployed. But now, St. Germain has a job – with benefits – before graduation and also in his chosen field of developmental psychology. A family friend set up a new child-care center in St. Paul, and St. Germain worked as an assistant in the infant room.

“This,” he said, “may possibly be the most positive thing.”

Not all new college grads will get the job so soon. But collectively, this year’s graduating class is poised for better prospects than the 2020 seniors who had the misfortune to graduate in the depths of the brutal coronavirus recession. Although the competition will be stiff – this year’s graduates will have to compete in many respects, with 2020 graduates who are still seeking their first full-time jobs – employing employers. And many are desperate for workers.

On Friday, the government reported that employers added just 266,000 jobs in April, a surprisingly sharp recession from 770,000 added in March. Yet much of that omission reflects a shortage of available workers, economists say. The economic rebound is growing so fast that many businesses are struggling to quickly attract enough applicants to fill jobs.

The pace of job openings has, in fact, fully recovered from the epidemic and is now well above pre-recession levels in occupational downturns, in which college students are more likely to seek and are usually done from home Can.

“I don’t think this recession will be as bad for college graduates as the previous recession has been.” “That segment of the labor market is going to recover faster than other sectors, where jobs cannot be done remotely.”

Hershbein said he worries, however, that the epidemic will reduce the economic prospects of young adults who were unable or could even begin to complete their teachings during the epidemic. The data showed a sharp decline in enrollment in community and four-year colleges.

Nevertheless, when you incorporate the final year crop of graduates, college seniors will compete against a larger-than-usual universe of job seekers.

“Because there is a large pool of unemployed workers, companies can choose exactly what they want and leave those with less experience,” said Ellis Gould, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.

Graduation in recession has historically led to poor results for many young people, with research showing that they sometimes tolerate long-lasting scars. Starting a career in a recession can result in lower incomes up to a decade later for graduates who compare with their peers who complete college just before or after the recession.

The sectors of the economy that face the most difficulty in obtaining all of their lost jobs are the service sectors most affected by the recession of the epidemic: restaurants, bars, hotels, gyms, and entertainment venues. Although college graduates often take such jobs temporarily, they typically seek careers in professional or technical fields, where job losses were very low last year and are now recovering.

Sheila Jordan, chief digital technology officer at Honeywell, said she is recruiting more students than last year and graduating for recently graduated internships. He is particularly interested in students from a range of technical backgrounds, including software, data analytics and cyberspace.

“We like to recruit once, hire twice,” Jordan said of the internship. “This is a feeder group for us.”

Lucius Giannini, who graduated last summer from the University of California San Diego with a degree in political science and public policy, hoped to work with the Peace Corps or teach English abroad. But when COVID-19 was killed, Shanti Vahini brought all her volunteers home. And no one hired for foreign teaching.

Giannini moved back in with her parents and broadened her job search for eight months. In March, he secured a paid marketing internship with a small pharmaceutical company.

This is not his area of ​​expertise, but, Gianini said, “They say, ‘You are young, you understand social media.’ So that’s what I do.

The internship will be over by the end of summer, so he can return to the job. He is also applying to law school.

For college grades who find jobs, the “onboarding” process, through which they meet co-workers and become accustomed to their employer’s culture, has to occur in an entirely new remote setting .

Nevertheless, it has not always worked so badly. Some companies have intensified their efforts to welcome new employees, even if they are working remotely.

Dominic Davis, a senior at Tennessee State University, kept an eye with Toyota last summer from his family home in Danville, Illinois. Yet she said she met many people in the form of a bus in the summer of 2019, when she interned at the company’s headquarters in Plano, Texas.

“I think I networked more to the term than being in the building,” she said. “It forces you to reach out. It is less awkward, less intimidating. I would interact with the VP of my department on a daily basis. Generally, you cannot just sit in his office and have a chat. “

Davis planned to go straight to graduate school for his MBA. But as president of the student body, he is well aware that some other seniors are struggling with their next steps.

“I’ve heard of many students who are having trouble getting interviews or internships,” Davis said. “Particularly in the medical field, some students hesitate due to the virus, afraid.”

Natalie Naranjo-Moret, who graduated in June with a history degree from UCSD, is looking for work in museums.

“But,” he said, “it has become very difficult because of the epidemic.”

The museum has been closed in the last one year. In a recent survey conducted by the Museum’s American Alliance, about one-third of museum directors said they either faced a significant risk of being permanently closed until next fall or did not know that their institutions were alive Will you stay or not.

Naranjo-Morett, who has unsuccessfully applied for some internships, says there appear to be few job openings. She wants to find work related to her history degree.

But “it’s so hard at this point, I’ll go for anything,” she said.


Lawler from Nashville, Washington, Ruger reported. Associated Press writer Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin contributed to this report.


This story was first published on May 9, 2021. It was updated to correct Sheila Jordan’s title on May 10, 2021. He is the Chief Digital Technology Officer at Honeywell.


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