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College Graduates Face Tougher Job Hunt This Year

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The news of the nation's worsening economy is having an impact on college graduates.

Jeremy Ingle has one more month of classes at N.C. State until he graduates.

"I'm very nervous about graduating, moving on to the real world and I've got to get a job."

Sharon Rahmani has been on two interviews for engineering jobs, but she said she has not heard anything yet.

"I know something will come up soon, but I don't know how soon that will be," she said.

This spring's graduates enter the workforce without the hiring frenzy that favored the class of 2000.

The annual job outlook survey by the National Association of College and Employers said employers expect to hire 20 percent fewer new graduates, keeping existing workers on payroll.

Among the findings in the survey:

  • The service industry plans to hire 24 percent fewer new grads, keeping permanent jobs for current workers.
  • Non-profit organizations are hiring. Graduates can expect a 21 percent increase in jobs where the pay is low, but experience is good.
  • Jeff Stocks, president of the Triangle-area Manpower agency, said graduates should seek temporary work as a strategy for landing a permanent job.

    "College campus recruiters are looking for experience. Many graduates have little or no exeperience, so we are a vehicle to get new graduates into the workforce," he said.

    Stocks said 40 percent of Manpower's temporary workers end up with permanent jobs. He said the economy is improving for new job applicants especially in the fields of bio-technology and financial services. He also noted a slight pick-up in the information technology area.

    The Job Outlook 2002 Survey also reports hi-tech firms are hiring computer science graduates, but forget the perks. Signing bonuses, cars, four day work weeks and high pay are not options for new graduates this time around.


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