It’s no walk in the park to get a job these days. With 2.2
million jobs lost since 2001 and the Michigan unemployment rate at
more than 7 percent, many seniors searching for jobs are still
ogling the employment pages of newspapers, hoping one of the ads
will lead them to the ultimate payoff of college education: their
first full-time professional job.

But many also realize they might not have a job in their
preferred career by graduation.

LSA senior Genevieve Marino reluctantly accepted this
possibility after sending out more than 500 resumes, only to get
back dozens of rejection letters in return and a few
“B-rate” job offers. “It’s the most
frustrating thing ever. There are no other words to describe it
except frustration,” Marino said.

Unfortunately, students’ frustrations probably won’t
be relieved anytime soon. According to recent studies, this
year’s graduating seniors can expect slightly better job
prospects than last year since companies are slowly hiring more
college graduates.

Yet, despite these increases in hiring, the reports and experts
also warn graduating seniors they will still struggle to find jobs
as they see no easy ways to get ahead in today’s tough job
market.

Two studies focused on college hiring in 2003 and 2004 predicted
increases in hiring of college graduates.

One study, by National Association of Colleges and Employers
study foresees a 12.7 percent rise in college graduate hiring from
last year, while another study by Michigan State University study
showed a less optimistic forecast in hiring for this year,
predicting an increase from 3 to 8 percent for graduates with
bachelor’s degrees.

But both reports also stress that the number of jobs available
still cannot accommodate the higher number of job searchers holding
college degrees.

Economics Prof. Matthew Shapiro said while the economy has
gained ground, job growth is still too sluggish to warrant any
significant change in the job market. “Most forecasts have
shown that this year’s prospects are better, but it will
still take some time for people to be absorbed into the job
market,” he said.

Shapiro said the job market will still be challenging for
seniors not only because the increase in hiring still isn’t
great enough, but also because of strong competition. “In
addition to competing with other new college graduates, they will
have to compete with the clog of workers who have been trying to
find work since the recession,” he added.

But competition is only one of the major factors contributing to
the tight job market. Michigan State researcher and college hiring
recruitment trends expert Phil Gardner said current job creation
has been geared more toward providing jobs for low-income workers,
rather than for college degree holders.

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