An increase in Michigan”s unemployment rate should not directly affect the 12,000 University students who rely upon work-study programs and part time jobs to fund their educations.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a 2 percent increase in the United States unemployment rates in January a significant increase in comparison to previous months.
Vickie Crupper, assistant director of the Office of Financial Aid, said there are many opportunities for students to receive assistance if they or their families are incapable of finding employment.
“When family financial circumstances change, students need to come to the financial aid office to review their situations. We can”t help the student if we never know there is a problem,” she said.
Crupper also said students currently receiving aid should not be concerned about the future continuation of their aid packages due to any possible shortage of funds.
“It is possible that aid reductions could occur only after the University exhausted all other possible resources. We don”t anticipate that this would ever happen,” she said.
Currently the employment opportunities on campus are abundant. According to the Office of Financial Aid there are five jobs for every one student.
Jason Gmirck, an Engineering junior who has been employed at the South Quad Residence Hall front desk for two years, views his current job as essential for funding his extracurricular life.
“My income mainly goes towards extra stuff,” said Gmirck. “Most of my money for school comes from my parents and what ever I earn over the summer.”
Megan Spangler, South Quad office coordinator, said she does not feel students currently employed by the residence halls have reason to worry.
“We are given a budget for operation which includes staff coverage. If we need to cut back it will be from things around the office not employees,” she said.
Spangler said students employed by University residence halls have even seen a pay increase within the past year.
As for graduating seniors who will be seeking jobs outside the University community, the job market may have a different perspective.
According to statistics released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has drastically increased in manufacturing industries such as the automotive, metal, rubber, plastic and lumber industries.
But, employment has improved or remained consistent in retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate.
The University Career Planning and Placement Center did not see a decrease in employer recruitment during the fall semester.
“Job fairs during fall semester had been very active and are still booming, they have shown strong turn-outs both by students and employers,” said Terri Lamarco, associate director of employment recruiting at CP&P.
Lamarco said it will be a matter of time before employment results can be seen objectively.
“The economic down turn may just be cautiousness of employers,” she said.