Local News

Uncertain job market awaits graduates

Posted December 14, 2008 7:09 p.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2008 9:20 a.m. EST

— The economic downturn has caused a decline in businesses' plans to hire college graduates for nearly all job sectors and geographic regions, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

"I'm just excited to be finished. I'm pumped about the next step in life. I feel like it is a new chapter for me, so I'm just excited,” UNC graduate Daniel Goans said.

Over 2,000 students participated in the December commencement ceremony Sunday at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Many of those graduates with whom WRAL News spoke said they are wondering what the next step will be.

"That's a good question. I've got my resume out there (and am) just hoping for the right job to come along,” UNC graduate Charles Robinson said.

However, jobs are harder to come by these days, even with a college degree.

"I feel bad because a lot of my friends are struggling and really looking for job,” UNC graduate Erin Moran said.

Moran is going to law school in the fall. She said that just to have a job, many of her friends have accepted offers that maybe they wouldn't have before.

“A lot of my friends have gotten jobs, (but) they just had to go to different places,” UNC graduate Matthew Finneran said. "I have friends that had to go to San Francisco and San Diego. They have to go to a lot of the bigger cities to find jobs [because jobs] are just not everywhere.”

The job outlook may not be rosy, but UNC graduates say they have a highly-respected university on their side.

"It's really difficult to get a job, but I think a degree from UNC does put people in a good position, a better position from what I can tell,” Goans said.

According to NACE, employers say they will increase the number of new graduates hired by only 1.3 percent, the smallest  increase since 2002.

The military, however, is taking full advantage of the tough job market. National Guard recruiters handed out fliers Sunday as UNC graduates walked out of the Dean Dome, offering free-tuition for master’s degrees for those who qualify.